This sublimely summer watermelon salad with basil combines two of my favorites summer treats – watermelon and heirloom tomatoes both big and small…
I’m a sucker for heirloom tomatoes. They always catch my eye at the market and they’re always so delicious. Topped with burrata cheese, good olive oil, and some salt and pepper? Mm, mm, I’m in heaven!
Since I try not to eat too much cheese, however, I have to find other ways to enjoy heirloom tomatoes.
Watermelon Salad with Basil
This recipe is really straightforward and can be made last minute, which is always a plus (especially in the summer when I can’t seem to think too far ahead for food).
I LOVE that tomatoes and watermelon are two fruits (yes, they’re both fruits) that don’t take time to ripen. You can buy both of them at the market and enjoy them right when you get home.
It’s because of this fact that this watermelon salad is a bit of a default for weeknight dinners and any occasion where I’m in charge of bring the salad to someone else’s place!
Why does Basil Brown?
I love topping this watermelon salad with basil and pine nuts because it makes it a little more savory – not so sweet. The combination of basil and pine nuts gives a nice pesto flavor occasionally, which is nice.
I always try to multitask while cooking, chopping the garnish while things are cooking, which means I easily forget how delicate basil is until it’s all chopped up.
Once cut, basil leaves start to blacken (I’m supposing oxidation and science are involved here!), so remember not to cut your basil until just before serving or, when making pesto, just before adding it to the blender!
If you’re hoping to do a little bit make-ahead here, you can certainly cut the watermelon and tomatoes ahead of time. If you’re prepping just a couple of hours before serving, you can easily combine the watermelon and tomatoes.
More than just a couple hours, I’d recommend cutting them and storing them separately. The tomatoes will need to be laid flat on a dish or they’ll quickly start to lose their shape.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO, BASIL, + WATERMELON SALAD
This summer salad combines some of the most vibrant flavors of summer. I can eat a lot of watermelon and a lot of heirloom tomatoes on their own, but why skip out of the delicious fun of combining them together for this fast and easy salad that everyone will love.
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes sliced ¾"
- 4 Cups 1" watermelon pieces
- 10 oz. baby heirloom tomatoes halved
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- flaked sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- fresh basil
Layer tomato slices on bottom of serving dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine watermelon and halved baby tomatoes. Layer over tomato slices.
In mixing bowl, quickly whisk olive oil and vinegar. Drizzle over salad.
Top with salt and pepper to taste. Julienne basil just before serving. Garnish with basil.
Thank you to Melissa’s for the baby heirloom tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts.