Summer Recipe: Tomato Watermelon Salad with Feta & Toasted Almonds 

Lounging by the pool, festival hopping and perhaps a vacation (or two) — summer in Arkansas comes with a long list of perks. But it’s also a season marked by heat and humidity. The last thing we want to do as temperatures rise outside is stand over a hot stove or sit down to a heavy meal. 

Summer is meant for light, refreshing and easy-to-prepare dishes. It’s even better when they’re packed with hydrating, healing ingredients to help us recover from days in the sun. Fortunately, Chef Coby Smith of The Hope Bistro at CARTI is known for creating recipes that do just that. He recently shared his seasonal go-to with us, featuring two famous Arkansas-grown products.

Tomato Watermelon Salad with Feta & Toasted Almonds

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 8 cups seedless watermelon, cut into one-inch chunks (approximately 6 lbs.)
  • 6 cups ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom in assorted colors, cored and cut into one-inch chunks (approximately 3 lbs.)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. chopped assorted fresh herbs such as dill, basil and mint
  • 6 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (approximately 5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted


  1. Combine melon and tomato chunks in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt, toss to blend and let stand 15 minutes.
  3. Add four tablespoons of oil, vinegar and herbs to the melon mixture.
  4. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.
  5. Toss arugula in a medium bowl with one tablespoon of oil.
  6. Divide arugula among plates, top with melon salad and sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds.

Bonus: Stuck in a summer cooking slump? Smith also hosts free workshops at The Bridge, CARTI’s on-site support services center. Register here to learn how to make more of his healthy, nourishing recipes at home.

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