No-cook meals are ideal for summertime. Who wants to heat up their home when it's already stifling outside? Not me. Another great tool to avoid heating up the house is the grill. This summer, I've been experimenting with grilling more than just meat. I have a grilled peach salad recipe coming soon you're going to love and a grilled tomato salad coming soon on Busy Being Jennifer for my monthly guest post over there. But until then, I have a no-heat-necessary recipe for you that is so tasty you'll never look at tomatoes or watermelon the same again.
Summer flavors present a great opportunity for experimentation. I had an appetizer at a restaurant a few years ago that I can't remember anything about except that it was delicious and it was a tomato and watermelon salad. In an effort to bring some of that interesting flavor to my kitchen table, I decided to play around a bit. I love a balsamic drizzle on caprese salads so I felt that it would be a good finish to the dish. Tomatoes and watermelon are both sweet so I complimented that sweetness by having the other ingredients spicy (arugula) and tangy (goat cheese). The end result was a fabulous combination of flavors with a refreshingly satisfying touch.
Why salt watermelon? I have seen a lot of recipes where the watermelon is salted. I never understood that until I did some research. It's not rocket science at all. It's actually completely logical. Adding salt to watermelon enhances the natural sweetness of the melon by providing a salty contrast. It's like dipping a french fry in a milk shake. The combination is ecstasy. For this recipe, I used really coarse salt, Fleur de Sel to be specific. The mineral chunks melt into the watermelon juices to provide a sweet and salty combination that is irresistible.
WATERMELON & TOMATO SALAD WITH BALSAMIC DRESSING
1 small seedless Watermelon
4 large Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel (or coarse salt)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Arugula
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, julienne cut
1/3 cup Goat Cheese Crumbles
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1. Place watermelon and tomatoes in a bowl and salt them. Let sit for ten minutes.
2. Add in olive oil and lightly mix so that you don't crush the watermelon.
3. Place the arugula on a large plate or platter. Arrange the watermelon and tomatoes in the middle of the the plate. In two lines, alternate slices of watermelon and slices of tomato. Sprinkle the goat cheese and basil all over the salad. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar lightly over the top. Serve.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Stand time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Serve this dish as a starter or side to grilled meat. It's light enough and refreshing to compliment almost anything and takes little time to prepare. The presentation is so elegant, it looks like it took much more effort than it did in actuality. It's also something you would find in a nice restaurant.