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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Watermelon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad - Pink Saturday



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While searching for side dishes that would add pizzaz to barbecues and picnics, I came across this lovely salad that's guaranteed to waken tired taste buds. It's made with watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers and gets an added boost of flavor from herbs that you get to choose. It's tossed with a light vinaigrette and served in a hollowed melon shell that adds visual appeal to an otherwise plain presentation. While there is some chopping involved, the salad is simple to make and it is portable. It can also be made more substantial with the addition of cooked shrimp or feta cheese. The components of this salad all release large amounts of liquid and they will drown in their own juice if the salad sits too long. So, while I prepare everything hours in advance of serving, I wait until the last minute to combine and toss the elements together. I love this dish, but as I made it a wave of nostalgia washed over me. You see, I remember a time when watermelon was a treat eaten while lying shoeless in the grass as we searched the sky for Venus and craters on the moon. No one spoke of mint or maceration, as seeds were spit, willy-nilly, among the fire-flies that lit the dark Midwestern night. I hope our children all still know the joy of simple pleasures and hear the crickets song. Here's the recipe that started my reverie. I think you'll really like it.

Watermelon, Cucumber and Tomato Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Beth Nakamura and Oregon Live

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup slivered red onion
Pinch salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced (1/2-inch) seeded watermelon
2 ripe firm, meaty tomatoes, cut into 16 thin wedges
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves or other herbs such as mint or tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1) Combine sugar, vinegar, onion, salt and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add oil. Set aside to cool.
2) Combine watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers and basil in a large bowl. About an hour before serving, pour dressing over mixture and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill. Turn mixture into a watermelon shell to serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Corn Salad with Edamame and Tomatoes - One Perfect Bite
Asian Bean Sprout Salad - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and White Bean Salad - One Perfect Bite
Picnic Pasta Salad - Good Bite
Grated Carrot Salad - Culinate
Dill Potato Salad - Susi's Kochen Und Backen Adventures

This post is being linked to:
Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

68 comments :

The Words Crafter said...

See, I never would have imagined watermelon would go with any of these ingredients, except to sit beside them on a picnic table...very interesting. I will see if I can get a friend of mine to try this and let me know (I wouldn't trust me to get this one right...)Loved your nostalgic recollection...and I'm glad I'm not the only one out there spitting watermelon seeds in the past...

The Empress said...

You know, I had forgotten about watermelon salads, and how much I love them.

Thank you for inspiring me for tomorrow's lunch.

Angie's Recipes said...

Mary,you are a kitchen witch! Love your kitchen magic! (I have been reading too much Harry Potter!)

Wish you a lovely weekend!
Angie

Jeanette said...

This really sounds interesting andI have to put it in my to try file.

3 hungry tummies said...

That is a stunning looking dish! It will go so well with bbq too :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

This sound really refreshing, bookmarked this recipe and will try later. Have a great weekend ahead, Mary.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

This sound really refreshing, bookmarked this recipe and will try later. Have a great weekend ahead, Mary.

Regina said...

Wow yummy and refreshing. One of my favorite.
Thank you for sharing Mary.
Happy Pink Saturday.

" Regina "

xo

Susi said...

I would have not thought of adding watermelon to a savory salad but I can see where the combination along with the cucumbers would be wonderful refreshing on a hot day. I'm bookmarking this one.

penny aka jeroxie said...

A very refreshing salad. I can see myself making this in summer.

Monet said...

I love this unusual combination of summer fruits. You are gifted at bringing different flavors together...and I'm looking forward to bringing this to a summer picnic.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I see there are watermelons in the shops, but mine in the garden have a long way to go..... This is an unusual combination but it sounds terrific. Have a good day. Diane

Debinhawaii said...

A great combination of flavors and a beautiful salad too. What a perfect side dish for summer grilling! ;-)

Lucie said...

<This sounds like a great refreshing addition to a summer picnic or bbq, Mary! I love it!

Allie and Pattie said...

My family loves watermelon salad Mary, and I've said the same thing- I love pictures we have of my children with their faces buried in a huge wedge and spitting seeds at each other! Just lovely
xoxo Pattie

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! lovely red colour salad, looks so vibrant. Thank you so much for visiting my and leaving your sweet happy, i feel really good about that.

Sage said...

Watermelon salad! never heard of this but I must say it really looks and sounds great.
Rita

Salsa Verde said...

Wonderful combination. I love watermelon!!
Hope you have a lovely weekend,
Lia.

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary,
questa ricetta è veramente sfiziosa... voglio proprio provare a farla !!!
Buona serata :-)
Hug

Jacalyn @ rmebathproducts.com said...

What a great salad! I would not have imagined adding watermelon and tomatoes!

Happy PS,
Jacalyn

Joe Ambrosino said...

Hello Mary,

You stole my thunder! I was going to post a similar recipe only watermelon (in the markets of New York, anyway) still isn't as sweet as it should be- neither are tomatoes. One thing I would add to your recipe- I like a fruit vinegar with something like this.

My Little Space said...

Such great looking friut salad & refreshing... oh my, totally mouthwatering! Yumm... Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
Cheers, Kristy

mbkatc230 said...

Oh I'm definitely trying this. I love watermelon, it's my favorite summer treat. And I love your recollection of summer nights :) Kathy

Atelier de Charo said...

Looks so fresh, perfect for the summer!

Happy Pink Saturday!
Hugs

Charo

zurin said...

very refreshing indeed! colours are beautiful too. perfect for hot summer days m sure. :)

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I never used to like watermelon as a kid, but I've slowly come to love it. This would be great for summer BBQ's or even to serve at my job!!

Kayte said...

Am looking at this, and it looks lovely, am reading the recipe and it sounds easy, am still wondering how on earth all these flavors work together...only one way to find out: try it! My earliest memories of watermelon eating were at my grandparents' farm...they would have a big hug oat bucket scrubbed out, filled with ice, and water...float the watermelon in it to get it ice cold and then slice it up for us all. It was the greatest treat on those hot summer days!

Tasha said...

While I would've never thought to pair watermelon with the rest of this salad, it does sound very refreshing and so summery! I have a very young son, and he has already spent several days this season, playing barefoot in the grass along with his little cousins, each clutching a wedge of watermelon. It is a delight to watch!

bj said...

Hi, Mary..ummm, this looks and sounds delicious.
As always, I love your story....:)

~RED~ said...

I made a similar recipe that i got from my friend Pia. It was watermelon tomato onion. I added basalmic vinegar and mint. LOVED LOVED it! I would highly recomend this.

Faith said...

This looks so refreshing and summery! I love the flavor of the mint in it. Your presentation is so lovely served out of the watermelon!

Nancy said...

I have never made a watermelon salad. Someday! Happy Pink Saturday!

Emmalene said...

How delicious and refreshing. Watermelons always remind of Spain! There is an Arabic saying too that 'marriage is like a watermelon'!...Have a great week Mary

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Such a wonderful post. Your nostalgic recollection of the past is priceless. Brought back some fond memories. I can't wait for the watermelons to start appearing here so I can try this one.
hugs ~lynne~

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Mary! This one is very interesting. I thought about you the other day, and this post speaks right to it. I had lunch with Rhonda of Shell Belle's blog, and we had a very interesting soup... it was a watermelon soup that was sort of spicy (I think it had Thai spices). Anyhow, I always think of you when I try something new and different. She reported on it for Foodie Friday!

Happy Pink Saturday...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Sushma Mallya said...

wow what a beautiful presentation, so fab...have a lovely weekend mary,enjoy

lisa said...

This salad sounds delicious!

Beverly said...

Yum!!! This looks delicious, and it just so happens that I have watermelon on my grocery list.

I love sharing your memories. My grandmother always spread newspapers on the picnic tables when we had watermelon.

Happy Pink Saturday, Mary.

Adventures in Domestic Cooking said...

Looks so fresh and tasty. Watermelon is a must in the summer!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love the idea of this salad and the addition of feta sounds fabulous! Kids and watermelon are the perfect summer combination!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

that is so funny that you mentioned that there was no talk of mint because I was thinking I would add mint...but I think I still enjoy simple things!?!

Jeannie said...

I usually eat watermelon on its own, have never thought of eating it as a salad! Good idea to serve it in the watermelon shell!

Valérie said...

That sounds so refreshing!

♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

I love the vibrant colors of red and green... and watermelon? ahh it brings forth memories of summers past!

happy pink saturday!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Three cheers for simple pleasures and a delicious summer salad. Thanks, Mary.

Kat said...

Mary, I love watermelon. And this looks so delicious and pretty.

Kristen (wwfoodie) said...

Beautiful Mary! I can't wait to try this...I am going to link to it on my blog post today all about ways to deal with the overabundance of cukes coming out of my garden this year. I'm glad you found my blog so I could find your! Can't wait to look around more.

Andreas said...

Looks like a great dish.

Ah, the joys of watermelon wedges in summer... :)

PeggyR said...

Oh yum! What a different combination! Happy Pink Saturday!

Rosabela said...

What a lovely salad! I never would have added watermelon to a cucumber and tomato salad. Watermelon was always a summer treat after a big Italian dinner at my grandparents' home when I was a kid. I miss those days....

Julie said...

Mary -Another beautiful creation!! Nothing says summer like watermelon. Thanks for taking me back to my childhood to remember the fireflies!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

I don't use watermelon in savory applications...But, I'll give it a try.

I love watermelon. It is my favorite summer nibble!

Carmen

Katerina said...

Unfortunately Mary our children will never live the way we lived in the past. The years of our innocence have nothing to do with the cruel reality of today. This salad though is unique and adds some color to life.

Dave said...

I remember enjoying many a watermelon on a hot summers day as a child. Nice recipe, thanks Mary.

lostpastremembered said...

that looks so good with all the herbs and hot pepper... takes watermelon to a whole new delicious level. I can't wait to give it a try, Thanks MAry!

The Cilantropist said...

I have made a salad almost just like this before, so I can vouch for the delicious taste, but I just LOVE how you served it in the watermelon. Perfect!

Rachana said...

Wow! What a refreshing and delicious Salad! i love watermelons :-)

Have a lovely Sunday, dear Mary !

Pam said...

I read all these watermelon salad recipes with hesitation. I just can't bring myself to do anything to watermelon other than slice and eat.

Gracie Jewellery said...

This sounds yummy! Happy Pink Saturday!

Lori said...

...Lying shoeless in the grass... such a nice reverie Mary. Thank you. We all need to take a step back and realize all the beautiful things we have and be grateful for them.

Maggie said...

I love love love you blog. And this looks delicious!

Happy PS!
Maggie
"Do these shoes match this purse?"

Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

It looks amazing!!!! I have been wanting to incorporate watermelon to my salad and now you gave me the perfect recipe!
Thank you!

Holly said...

Wow this sounds so different than anything I've ever tried or seen at a barbeque or picnic! I think it sounds good enough to try:)

Pacheco Patty said...

This looks so good, love all your ingredients!

baking.serendipity said...

I love that this is served right in the watermelon core (if that's what you'd call it!!) Such a great presentation and salad for summer!

Kathleen said...

I had this salad at a July 4th party this past weekend. It is divine. The sweetness of the watermelon, along with the crisp crunchiness of the cucumbers and onions are just what your palate needs; then all of a sudden you get a burst of tomato, a hint of pepper and lastly the pleasant bite of the basil. What an incredible combination of vibrant colors and flavors. You will make this again and again.

Anonymous said...

Must say, this is pretty excellent. I've already made it a second time because it was so good the first time.

I found that letting it sit in its juices for a while worked great for flavor, so even though the leftovers the next day were drowning it liquid, I dare say it was even tastier. Either that, or a lot of it sunk to the bottom so people didn't get as much flavor when they took food from the top.

Kavita Mehrotra said...

I am a big watermelon lover. they make me nostalgic too reminding me the childhood days when dad used to get a big fat watermelon for me. Btw its called tarbooj in India.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe. i am definitely going to try this one in the summers.

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