Want to learn to cook "like a Mexican mama" with healthy, comforting recipes up your sleeves? Our Top Pick in Cookbooks for June, Pati Jinich's Pati's Mexican Table, shows you how.

This recipe screams summer.

Watermelon and Tomatillo Salad with Feta Cheese


? SERVES 6 ? PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES ? VINAIGRETTE CAN BE MADE UP TO 3 DAYS AHEAD, COVERED, AND REFRIGERATED (MIX WELL BEFORE USING); SALAD CAN BE ASSEMBLED WITHOUT THE CHEESE AND MINT GARNISH UP TO 12 HOURS IN ADVANCE, COVERED, AND REFRIGERATED ?

You know those photos of kids with big slices of watermelon in their hands and juice dripping down their chins? Consider this salad a neater version of that image. Essentially summer in a bowl, this salad features an unexpected combination of ingredients. The exotic companions of mint, feta, and tart tomatillos take watermelon to a new dimension. Green tomatoes can stand in for the tomatillos in a pinch.

Watermelon and Tomatillo Salad


  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon seeded (if desired) and finely chopped jalapeño chile, or to taste

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 6 cups seeded and cubed ripe watermelon

  • About 12 ounces tomatillos,  husks removed, rinsed, quartered, and thinly sliced crosswise (3 cups)

  • About 4 ounces feta cheese or queso fresco, crumbled or cut into small dice (¾ cup), or to taste


patismexicantable1. In a small bowl, combine the mint, jalapeño, lime juice, vinegar, and salt. Slowly add the oils in a thin, steady stream, mixing with a whisk or a fork until emulsified. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before using, so the mint and jalapeño flavors can marry and infuse the vinaigrette.

2. Place the watermelon and tomatillos in a large salad bowl. Toss gently with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Sprinkle the cheese on top, garnish with mint, and serve.

Excerpted from Pati’s Mexican Table, © 2013 by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photos © Penny De Los Santos. Read our review of this book.

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