Watermelon and Tomato Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette

The past week has been an extremely happy week for me; my mom visited for five days (I hadn’t seen her since Christmas) and I am now engaged! He surprised me at the airport when I was picking up her up with an absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers and the prettiest ring I’ve ever seen. I am so touched that I was able to tell my mom in person minutes after it happened; I feel so incredibly blessed right now. In the meantime, I have developed a persistent lust for watermelon, I eat it every day – usually twice. Even if the flavour is slightly lacklustre in some of the out-of-season melons I’m buying there is always the option to transform it into a spectuacular salad that combines the unlikely flavours of tomatoes, watermelons, red onions, and basil in a perfect juxtaposition of fuchsia, red, and green. This salad was inspired by one of Mark Bittman’s recipes in the article 101 Simple Salads for the Season and the basil vinaigrette is based on a basil vinaigrette recipe from Simply Recipes. I used small seedless watermelons because they have a truer watermelon flavour in comparison to the large melons in stores at the moment. I eat this as a meal in itself but it’s also good paired with chicken that has been left to marinate in lemon juice, olive oil, and crushed garlic.

watermelon and tomato salad with a basil vinaigrette:

1 small watermelon, cut into eighths and then roughly cubed

About 1 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes, I used 8 small Campari tomatoes

About 1/4 of a red onion, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I like really tangy dressing, use less if you like yours to be milder)

1 clove of garlic

1 big bunch of basil, leave some aside for topping the salad

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup of light olive oil

1. Combine the watermelon, tomato, and red onion in a large salad bowl.

2. Blitz all of the salad dressing ingredients together in a blender except the oil. With the blender running slowly pour in the oil so that a brilliant green emulsion forms. Drizzle on top of the salad and scatter the remaining basil over top. Any remaining dressing can be kept for a week.

The album “Tim” by The Replacements always makes me feel sentimental, not for any concrete reason but the music itself sounds nostalgic to me. There is something about the songs on this album that really capture something youthful, like everyone involved should never have gotten old. I like playing this album when it starts to get warm out and I like playing this song in particular when I’m really happy.

The Replacements – Kiss Me on the Bus

6 Comments Add yours

  1. rich paul says:

    Congrats on the marriage proposal, which is really cool.
    Watermelon is my favorite.
    Going to try this recipe as soon as i am able.

    1. Thanks so much for the congrats, I’m/we’re really happy 🙂 watermelon is my new favourite thing to put with salt – have you ever tried it with black olives, feta, and mint? It’s delicious!

  2. Matt says:

    Hey dude!

    Congrats on the engagement.

    I am going to try this salad for a bbq I am going to later today. It is going to hit 32 degrees Celsius today, and this sounds like the perfect salad for today.

    I have flagged several of the recipes that I want to go back and try, but don’t get around to recipe cooking as much as I would prefer, so this is the first of your posts that I’m going to try. I am really excited, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    In other related/exciting news. I just bought a 1960’s food processor from a garage sale (along with an air popcorn popper for only 2 bucks!), and am excited to process some foods. I know you are very passionate about salsa. I don’t know what inspiration you require to make a post about something, but if you take requests, I would love to get a good standard salsa recipe from you, if you have one you like (even if it is from memory or usually on a whim).

    Happy spring!

  3. Matt says:

    The recipe turned out great. It was a really good dish for a hot day. The basil vinagarette was delicious, but I should have made a little more, as my watermelon was a little bigger. Also, I used some medium sized yellow tomotoes, and some red cherry tomotoes. The yellow ones helped add some color to the dish, which was nice.


    1. I’m so pleased that this recipe worked out for you – I used a really tiny watermelon (like the size of a 5 lb. bowling ball) so I had lots of the dressing left, I put it on pasta and chicken and still have some leftover. I would have loved to use yellow tomatoes or orange ones, I’ll have to wait until the farmer’s markets are carrying them. As for salsa, I will definitely think about this one. I really like mango salsa with avocados and tomatoes and jalapenos but I’ll have to experiment and let you know. I am totally jealous of your popcorn maker, I am still making it in a big pot over high heat.

      And THANK YOU SO MUCH! for the congrats, I’m really really really happy and excited to be engaged to such a wonderful guy! I hope you guys have a great trip, I can’t wait for the post card!

  4. rich paul says:

    Went and bought a giant watermelon just to have some to make this salad.
    Didn’t work, ate it all up in my work lunches. Did not have the energy left but to go to bed after work. 2 years between jobs takes it out on me.
    So i bought one of those bowling ball size melons for the first time, surprised how crisp and sweet it was.
    This recipe is going with us to the big family reunion and the company picnic and where ever else i want to show off.

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