Watermelon is the essence of summer. There’s an unwritten rule somewhere in the laws of entertaining, that if you have people over in the summer, you must provide watermelon. It’s sweet, colorful, and a classic. One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is take classic ingredients, and serve them in a way that you’d never expect. That’s exactly what was on my mind when I made this Summer Watermelon Salad.
Watermelon is a fruit, so it’s only natural to think that you should only serve it with other fruit. I wanted to take watermelon and make it a part of a vegetable based salad. In order to do that, I had to pair it with vegetables that also have a natural sweetness to them. The most obvious choices were other summer classics- corn and tomatoes. Char grilled corn adds a smokey taste to sweet fresh corn. The tomatoes and cucumber give the salad some texture and richness, and the basil-balsamic vinaigrette ties it all together. It’s bright, beautiful, and will have your guests begging for the recipe.
Posted: June 19, 2013
Summer Watermelon Salad
Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
6 cups chopped watermelon- about 1 medium watermelon
3 ears fresh corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I would choose yellow or orange for color variety)
1 cucumber, seeds removed, halved, and thinly sliced
freshly cracked black pepper
For the Dressing:
⅔ cup lightly packed basil
1 tbs shallot, minced
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
¼ cup olive oil and canola oil blend
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high. If you don’t have access to a grill, preheat your broiler to high in the oven.
2. Lightly coat the corn on all sides with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the corn so that it is lightly blackened on all sides (or a little less if you don’t like the taste). Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
3. Make the dressing for the salad by combining all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil together in a small food processor. After everything is minced together, add the oil in a steady stream so to create an emulsion. Add the salt after the dressing is fully blended.
4. Make the salad by gently tossing all of the ingredients together. Watermelon can break down quite easily, so use a light hand when doing this. Drizzle the dressing over the top and season with freshly cracked black pepper.