Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad with Feta and Basil Oil

I have seen watermelon and tomato salads popping up all over the place lately, from Top Chef to my new Giada cookbook, Giada's Kitchen. I didn't really follow a recipe for this; just kind of flew from the hip.

I actually made a tomato and onion salad a few weeks ago from a recipe in the latest Cook's Illustrated, and it recommeded that you halve the cherry tomatoes, season with salt, and allow them to strain for about half an hour. This will keep them from getting soggy in the salad by draining out excess moisture. I also drained the entire dish before mixing in feta and serving, since the watermelons give off a LOT of water (obviously); so the salad wasn't too wet.

I really enjoyed it and thought it was a great, refreshing summer salad. The sweetness and freshness of the watermelon make a great foil to the salty feta. Adding cherry tomatoes and basil make it so refreshing and light. I will definitely be making this again.

Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad with Feta and Basil Oil

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups watermelon chunks, seeded and cut to approximate size of tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
salt tomatoes with about 1/2 tsp salt, and allow to strain about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut watermelon and allow to come to room temperature. Combine basil, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, vinegar, lime zest, and lime juice in a blender or small food processor. Process until well blended. Add tomatoes to the watermelon, and stir in the basil oil. When ready to serve, salad to remove extra water, and gently fold in feta.


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