The cover of a wonderful cookbook, True Food, written by Dr. Andrew Weil, Sam Fox and Michael Stebner, displays a beautiful photograph of this salad. I was just as surprised as you when I discovered the unlikely combination of tomatoes and watermelon, but put aside your bias right now. You’re going to absolutely love the sweet with the savory in this beat-the-heat, summer no-cook recipe. It’s refreshing, colorful, full of antioxidant properties and if you’re lucky enough, can come straight from your garden.
As gardens begin producing outstanding flavors and varieties of tomatoes, you’ll be looking for new ways to use them. The original recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. I found these yellow heirloom pear tomatoes at my corner farmer’s market and combined them with grape tomatoes which to me, are some of the most flavorful tomatoes around. As far as watermelon is concerned, the original recipe suggests both yellow and red watermelon varieties. Frankly, I rarely see yellow watermelon, (you’re probably growing it this year, for all I know). Don’t fret, I just used red and it still looks and tastes amazing. I used mascarpone cheese and threw in some mint leaves in this version; the original recipe calls for Goat cheese and just the basil, so suit yourself.
- Tomato and Watermelon Salad
- 2 pounds red watermelon, rind removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks, about 4 cups
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 pint yellow pear tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white balsamic or wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp each chopped fresh basil and fresh mint leaves
- 4 ounces mild, soft cheese like Goat, mascarpone, Farmers or ricotta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews
- Divide watermelon and tomatoes among salad plates. Drizzle each plate with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the basil, mint, cheese and cashews before serving.