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Watermelon Panzanella Salad
Michael Smith / TODAY
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(98 rated)

The sweetness of the watermelon is an excellent foil to salty feta cheese in this take on Italian panzanella, which is traditionally made with tomatoes and bread. The crunch of the toasted bread and fresh cucumber add a wonderful, satisfying texture to this summery salad.

Technique tip: Make sure to use seedless watermelon.

Swap option: Swap in any kind of ripe melon.


    • 1 loaf day old ciabatta bread
    • 4 cups very ripe watermelon, cut into small dice
    • 1 handful baby arugula
    • 1 small red onion, thinly shaven
    • 1 handful baby arugula
    • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pits removed
    • 1/4 cup non-pareil capers, drained of all excess liquid
    • 1 generous pinch Sicilian oregano
    • 6 ounces feta cheese
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small bunch bunch basil, roughly chopped
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 handful baby arugula


1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. Cut the ciabatta bread into 1/4-inch cubes, lightly coat in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until crispy, dry and golden. Let cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl combine the watermelon, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, feta cheese and basil. Gently toss to combine.

4. Right before serving, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve over the baby arugula.

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