Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heirloom Tomato - Watermelon Salad

Happy National Watermelon Day!!

In my short time of blogging I have come to learn that there are more National Food Days than there are days in the year.  Liv was particularly excited about January 5th, National Whipped Cream Day, and March 25th, National Waffle Day.  Unfortunately, we didn't know that yesterday was National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, but I'm right on track to celebrate National Watermelon Day today!

Watermelon has always been a summer favorite in our household.  In a prior post (Sesame-Chile Chicken with Gingered Watermelon Salsa) we discussed methods of finding the perfect melon, and I'm still holding on to the theory that no matter what your method, it involves a fair amount of luck.  Luckily, luck was with us as we chose our special Watermelon Day watermelon!

Bright red, juicy and extraordinarily flavorful, we had the perfect melon for our Heirloom Tomato-Watermelon Salad.  Also on hand, I had a one pound, beautiful, perfectly ripe, Brandywine Heirloom Tomato.  I have never combined watermelon and tomato before and was frankly surprised at how well the two ingredients complemented each together.  The original recipe from Epicurious calls for fresh herbs such as mint, basil and dill, but somehow the dill didn't sound quite right to me.  I used only the mint and basil in about equal parts and produced a light, summery side salad.  The feta cheese crumbled on top provides a welcome saltiness and the fresh arugula gives a nice contrasting texture and peppery bite.  

With our third day of mid day sun shining down on us (it's still cloudy and gray every morning...), we fully enjoyed this salad with our meal outside on the patio.  Tomorrow is National Lasagna day, but I don't think that is going to work for me.  However... I'm wondering if it would be wrong to celebrate National Drink Wine Day (Feb. 18th) in it's place?

Tomato-Watermelon Salad
adapted from Epicurious

3 cups small chunks of seedless watermelon
2 cups ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom) in assorted colors, cored, cut into chunks
coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2½ Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ Tbs red wine vinegar
3 Tbs chopped basil
2 Tbs chopped mint
2 cups fresh arugula leaves
crumbled feta cheese 
2 Tbs sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Combine the tomatoes and watermelon in a large bowl.  Stir in the herbs and season with 1½ Tbs olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Toss the arugula with the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil (use a bit more if you like!).  Place arugula on a plate and serve tomato/watermelon mixture over the top.  Crumble the feta on top of the salad and sprinkle with almonds.  Enjoy!

Note:  the salad may get watery if your tomatoes are very juicy. The original recipe calls for almost triple the amount of dressing, but numerous comments remarked about the wateriness of the salad - I took their advice and reduced the dressing.


  1. I've never combined tomatoes with watermelons before, but it looks delicious!

  2. Your recipes look so good:-) I think the combination of watermelon and heirloom tomatoes is so fresh and delicious, perfect summer dish.

  3. This is all new to me and it looks delicious. I must try it! Love the post below also! I'm new here and looking forward to what's next!

  4. Sarah, it was new to me too, but we really liked it!

    Patty, definitely a perfect summer dish! (Now that we have some sun!)

    Pam, let me know what you think about it when you try, I'd be interested to hear other thoughts. Nice to "meet" you!

  5. I completely agree--I would have skipped the dill, too. What you did include added up to a beautiful, fresh salad. Perfect for warm days. :-)

  6. Wow! Those are some juicy tomatoes. I love having my melon and tomatoes with feta cheese... I just have not combined the flavors together. I must try.

  7. As a tomato connoisseur, I never would have thought to do this either.

    And as an aside, my dad was told by a watermelon producer that you should look for the big round yellow spot, which means it's been sitting on the floor for a long time, and then for bee stings.

  8. What a lovely and refreshing salad! So summery and light. I love the flavors!

  9. How unique and wonderful! I have never mixed watermelon and tomatoes, but you better bet I am going to try it now! :-)

  10. It's amazing how glorious an heirloom tomato can look. Yours is just about breathtaking. I can smell it through the computer! Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe.

  11. BB... I was happy that they worked so well together. Please thank you dad for me for the melon tip!

    Cinnamon Girl, refreshing is a perfect description for this... wish I would have thought of that word earlier.

    Ravie, I hope you like it too!

    Mom Chef, Thanks... I don't think we could take a bad photo of these amazing tomatoes!

  12. I never pictured tomatoes and watermelon together but this has me curious enough to try it. :)


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