Discover the magic of watermelon and tomatoes
This is yet another exciting flavor combination from Annette Tomei. It features two of the ingredients on my list of the best aphrodisiac foods, tomatoes and watermelon. And those two flavors combine, as they are in this tomato and watermelon salad, they’re the essence of summer.
A colorful salad
While most salads offer shades of green, this watermelon and tomato salad is a study in romantic pinks and reds. And because both fruits, (yes, tomato’s botanical classification really is fruit), are extremely juicy, it’s also far more quenching than your average bowl of lettuce. Yet it still offers as much nutrition as eating a bowl of lettuces. In fact, you’ll get something from this salad you can’t from your average kale or romaine: lycopene. Both tomato and watermelon are good source of this nutrient. And lycopene is beneficial not only for heart health but for prostate health.
But enough about health! The reason I wanted to feature this watermelon and tomato salad is because of its sensuality. In addition to the juicy, subtly sweet flavors of tomato and watermelon, the salad offers a musky note of goat cheese. Then there’s the salty crunch of pistachio. Lastly–and this might be my favorite addition–you have the fresh, fragrant note of exotic opal basil.
(A note on opal basil: Also called purple basil, this dark colored cousin to Italian or sweet basil can be used in a variety of summer dishes. It can be hard to find at a grocer so try farmer’s markets or grow your own. It grows well in a pots and window planters. You can substitute with Thai basil or sweet basil for this watermelon and tomato salad recipe. However, if you’re using sweet basil, you may want to reduce the amount by about a third. That’s because sweet basil tends toward a more pungent, less sweet and floral flavor than its purple-leaf relative.)
This juicy, fruit-filled salad is the essence of summer on a plate.
- 1 tsp Champagne vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 c cubed seedless watermelon
- 1/2 c diced fresh tomatoes
- 4 in opal basil leaves cut into chiffonade + 2 sprigs for garnish
- 1 tbsp chopped roasted pistachios
- 12 watermelon "logs" 1/2-inch wide x 3-inches long
- 2 1/2-inch disks goat cheese
- Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon to make a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the chopped watermelon and tomato with the vinaigrette. Add the basil and pistachios, tossing lightly.
- To make the salad, place one disk of goat cheese in the middle of each of two plates.
- Make a "fence" of watermelon "logs" around each disk by stacking and overlapping 6 "logs" on each plate.
- Top with the salad mixture and garnish with the opal basil sprig.
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