Sweet Tea Watermelon Salad

Arugula, peanuts, and radishes balance a sweet summer marinade

A watermelon salad

Photo: Courtesy of the Roosevelt

Watermelon is perfect as is! This dish gives us an excuse to glorify it just a bit more at the restaurant. It’s a very refreshing salad on a hot day. This recipe works best with a vacuum sealer, but leaving the watermelon to marinate in the sweet tea dressing for a few hours will also give great flavor. —Leah Branch

Read the recipe’s backstory.

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  • Sweet Tea Watermelon Salad (Yield: 4 servings)

    • ½ cup sweet tea

    • 1 tbsp. sugar

    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

    • 1 clove garlic

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

    • 1 shallot, roughly chopped

    • 1 cup canola oil

    • 6 cups watermelon, cut into large cubes, seeded or seedless

    • 4 thinly sliced radishes

    • ½ cup snap or snow peas, trimmed

    • 1 cup arugula

    • ¼ cup roasted peanuts or sunflower seeds


  1. Using a blender or food processor, blend tea, sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, mustard, and shallot. While the blender is running, slowly drizzle canola oil into the mixture. Pour over watermelon and gently toss to combine. If marinating, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably two hours. Alternatively, “compress” by placing in vacuum seal bags and sealing according to the instructions on your device. This technique will allow you to use the watermelon immediately, or keep refrigerated for the next day.

  2. Place watermelon in serving dishes and sprinkle radishes, snow peas, arugula, and peanuts on top.