Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Watermelon and Tomato Salad
How did it get to be October already? And me with a backlog of summer recipes! Luckily, heirloom tomatoes are still beautiful and all over the greenmarket and watermelon is in abundance at Fairway.

When I was a kid, watermelon (and cucumbers) were the only two foods I refused to eat. Their high water content diluted the flavor so much as to make it unpalatable to me. Lately, though, I've found that, when it's terribly hot out, I crave these watery fruits. Probably my body seeking to rehydrate itself as much as possible.

But, because I have a low tolerance to sweet, I needed to add something salty to the watermelon and tomatoes. Mark Bittman recommends goat cheese, but I was more interested in feta, as suggested by Josh in his Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad. Some basil (from the plant that's still growing nicely on our terrace!), a sprinkling of sea salt and a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and we had ourselves a delicious salad. Enjoy!

Watermelon and Tomato Salad
adapted from How to Cook Everything and The Food Section

  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, assorted varieties, cored and thickly sliced
  • 1/4 watermelon, seeded, peeled and sliced as thickly (or thinly) as tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 8 leaves basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
On a large platter, lay down first a tomato slice, then a watermelon slice, overlapping slightly, until all used. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and feta. Crumble basil leaves on top and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Salad, Corn and Shrimp
Make It a Meal: Keep the summer theme going by serving the salad with corn -- rather than just steaming it, try Roasted Corn with Parsley Butter. If serving a vegetarian, and since the oven's already on for the corn) finish out the meal with some Roasted Vegetables. If not, go for Salt Roasted Shrimp instead. And to drink? Riesling, especially if you can find a local one like Treleaven Riesling from the Finger Lakes. Bon appetit!

Leftovers: Unfortunately, this isn't a salad that saves very well, so eat it the night of, if at all possible. If not, mix leftovers with falafel (if you don't make your own, I highly recommend Trader Joe's frozen variety) to make a more substantial salad. Yum!

Links to other watermelon salad noshes:


Junglefrog said...

I love that combination of the watermelon and tomatoes. It works so very well together!

Anonymous said...

I've always found watermelon and cucumbers watery and insipid too. I've learned ways to appreciate cukes, but sugary, one-note watermelon is more difficult. But your salad is a great play of flavors that makes the watermelon shine as much as all the other elements. Gorgeous too. Wish we NYers were not so near the end of perfect tomato season!