Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad


If you were trying to build the perfect summer salad, I don't know if you could do better than this refreshing combination of watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and feta.

My version is a humble effort at recreating the same salad served at The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles, where we recently passed through on the way to a week-long vacation in Hawaii. The salad was refreshing, juicy, sweet, and salty -- and the perfect starter before downing The Hungry Cat's excellent tempura-fried soft-shell crab.

To make the salad, rough-hewn chunks of seedless wartermelon are combined with wedges of the ripest heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, feta, and basil. The combination of tomatoes and watermelon may seem unlikely, but it works: the sweetness of the melon brings out the inherent sweetness of the tomatoes (which are fruits too, after all). A sprinkling of sea salt adds some contrast, as does the tangy feta.

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Serves 2 generously or 4 reasonably

3/4 pound seedless watermelon, rind removed
3/4 pound heirloom tomatoes (about two large tomatoes)
3 ounces feta cheese
8 leaves basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste

1. Cut the watermelon into large, imperfect chunks and slice the heirloom tomatoes into wedges. Combine in a bowl.

2. Crumble feta over the watermelon and tomato mixture, add basil, torn by hand, and toss gently with olive oil.

3. Season, to taste, with sea salt. Enjoy immediately before the fruit releases too much juice.

Kitchen Notes: The original dish also included sliced red onions. I forgot to purchase them, but they weren't missed.



Mmmm - lovely! Simple and perfect. I had a similar salad at a local Brooklyn restaurant recently though the heirlooms were sliced crosswise into thick slabs. This presentation beautifully accented their quirky shapes and colors.


The pairing of fruits with tomatoes is something lacking in modern cuisine - everybody knows that the tomato is a fruit, but seems reluctant to treat it as one.
Maybe because todays mass-marketed forced tomatoes lack flavour, and taste starchy with thick skins?
The best use I ever saw of the Tomato as a fruit was a Tomato sorbet which worked suprisingly well served between the appetizer and main course.


I remember a watermelon salad recipe with a spicy peanut dressing, from Julia Child's Cooking with Master Chefs. It was a great combination of the sweetness of the watermelon with a Thai-inspired vinegar based topping. Like your recipe, a delicious reminder that watermelon is a food, and not just the "candy" at the end of a summer picnic.


I had a salad at the Hungry Cat which I've duplicated all summer, but it was tomatoes, watermelon, shaved radishes, red onion, arugula, fresh mint, feta and olive oil. Love it that they recreate the salad with what is deliciously on hand. It was yummy!


Perfect combination.


thanks admin for sharing this cool thing with us.


I don't normally like watermelon but this was delicious! I added some ground pepper to my version as well.



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