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arugula and watermelon salad with ricotta

Arugula Watermelon Salad

This salad is fresh and perfect for summer. It has sweet watermelon, peppery arugula, creamy ricotta and some pistachios for crunch. The dressing is a simple drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice, and the flavors combine beautifully to create the perfect summer salad!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 4 cups baby arugula packed
  • 1 cup watermelon sliced and chilled
  • 1/4 cup ricotta see notes for prep
  • 1/4 cup pistachios crushed
  • 2 tbsp parmesan shaved


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch salt


  • Optional Ricotta Prep: To make the ricotta solid, place your ricotta in a layered cheese cloth and twist the tops to close. Twist the top to tighten and squeeze out excess liquid, making sure ricotta doesn't seep through. Place in a strainer and put something heavy like a plate (or small cast iron lid) on top. Then place the strainer in a bowl and place in the fridge for 5 hours, or for best results, overnight. This releases the excess moisture in ricotta and gives it a feta like consistency, which is nice in salads.
  • Place the arugula in your salad bowl. Spread over slices of watermelon and chunks of ricotta. Sprinkle sover the pistachios and parmesan.
  • In a small bowl mix together the dressing. Drizzle over as much as you'd like over the salad right before serving.


Substitutions. If you're not a fan of ricotta you can use feta, or just skip the ricotta all together and just use parmesan. It still tastes great.
I love using arugula in this because of the peppery flavor, but you can replace it with spring salad mix. 
Ricotta.  It's not hard to dehydrate the ricotta, you just need to remember to do it well before you want to make this salad. Having solid ricotta in your fridge is actually great. You can use it on other salads, in pastas or spread over toast with a drizzle of honey.
If you want to keep your ricotta creamy, go right ahead!  
Serve it. This salad is so refreshing. It's a great light lunch in the summer. But if you want to serve it as a side, it goes great with pizza, pastas, or steaks.  
I do not recommend storing leftovers. The salad will wilt, so consume it the day you make it. 
Keyword Arugula, Salad, Watermelon