Refreshing, light and surprising to the taste buds, this salad is sure to become one of your favorites and gain you notoriety at any BBQ you attend this summer. Accompany it with grilled shrimp skewers for an added touch of greatness.
(Makes one large platter)
4-6 medium-large heirloom tomatoes, variety of colors
1 small or 1/2 large seedless watermelon, approximately
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
8-10 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Wash, remove stems and thinly slice tomatoes into rounds, or half rounds if using large tomatoes.
2. Wash and remove the rind from the watermelon. Thinly cut to match the size of the tomato slices.
3. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for about 8 minutes, continually tossing so they don’t burn. Let cool.
4. On a platter (recommend to use a long, white platter), create two to three rows of tomato and watermelon, keeping the pattern of laying one slice of tomato and then one slice of watermelon.
5. Evenly sprinkle feta, followed by basil, followed by pine nuts over the tomato and watermelon.
6. The last step is to drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over the salad. The salad can be pre-made and stored in the fridge. Save the olive oil and balsamic until right before you serve the salad. If you are going to a BBQ pack the dressing in a container.
NOTE: Depending on the size of the tomatoes and watermelon, this salad may require more or less toppings. If heirloom tomatoes are out of your budget, tomatoes on the vine or Roma tomatoes work nicely. Don’t be afraid to be flexible and experiment.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.