Watermelon Salad Bites

I’m always tickled by foods that don’t arrange themselves into a cohesive whole until you take that first bite, when disparate ingredients come together to make a whole new surprise flavor.

It’s a lesson I perhaps first learned during my bachelor party five years ago in Mexico, where I learned that I could make a perfectly acceptable margarita, completely forgoing the use of a glass.

Okay, so that may not have ended so well. In this case, the combination of cool, sweet watermelon, acidic lime juice, spicy slices of serrano chile, and crumbled salty feta cheese don’t immediately strike your guests as a “salad,” until they take a bite, and the flavors rearrange and combine into something all new. The combination is startling, cooling, and satisfying. They’re inexpensive, perfect for a crowd, and easy to prepare (especially if you start with a seedless watermelon). The presentation may be a little more modern than most of the things I cook, but these self-contained bite-sized watermelon salads are always a surprise hit.

Watermelon Salad Bites

Watermelon Salad Bites
Adapted from a recipe by Foodie Relations


  • 1 small ripe seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed
  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2-1 serrano chile, sliced thinly
  • 1/2-1 tbsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and olive oil. Stir well to combine. Add the watermelon, and toss to coat evenly. Arrange watermelon cubes on a serving plate, and top each piece with a little bit of feta, and a slice of serrano chile. Sprinkle with salt, to make the flavors really pop. Serve immediately, or within a few hours; if prepared too far in advance, the watermelon will release much of its juice.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


  1. I am trying this out this coming weekend for the crowd of 2 at my house. I WANT THIS NOW! I wonder how my husband will feel. He loves watermelon, loves spicy peppers, hates feta. In fact we went to some fancy place last wknd for brunch, and he sampled my omelet which had about 3 times as much feta as was necessary, and it overwhelmed his humble midwestern palate. In fact, it was simply overwhelming to any palate. but it kinda put him off feta for life. Hmmm. Ooh, I know, I won’t tell him it’s feta. wow, this looks soooo good.

  2. was looking at the New York Times this morning and in a restaurant review they mention this appetizer! without the serrano: sissies!

  3. I love watermelon with lime and salt, and eat it that way almost every morning in the summer. I can’t wait to try the additions of feta and chile, sounds delish!

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