Tomato-Watermelon Caprese Salad
I don’t know about you, but as the end of summer approaches, I seem to do everything I can to hold on and not let summer slip through my fingers. Thinking about the weather change that’s inevitable (aka: snow for me), and realizing that all the lovely summer fresh food we have been enjoying will soon fade, makes me want to take any opportunity I can to make my favorite summer foods.
With tomatoes still brimming on the plants, I have been making salads like crazy. Whether they are simple, by tossing together some fresh salad greens, tomatoes, basil for a fresh pop of flavor, and an easy oil-vinegar drizzle, or a bit more complex like my Tomato-Watermelon Caprese Salad, they are helping me appreciate the last long, warm days of summer.
The first time I was introduced to the combination of watermelon and tomatoes, I was skeptical. I am not huge fan of watermelon to begin with (I know, crazy, right?), so the thought of tossing it in one of my favorite summer salads seemed ludicrous. But, I was a big girl and tried and bite and let me tell you, now I have a new appreciation for watermelon! It adds a little sweetness, a new texture, and is a match made in heaven with feta cheese, which is my cheese of choice for this caprese salad. The salty cheese adds just the right balance to the sweet watermelon, and of course, goes very well with tomatoes. Amazing!
Besides the watermelon-feta combo that I know you’ll love, I add quick pickled onions to my caprese salad. I love the crunch from the onions, but what really does it for me is the punch of tang the vinegar gives the onions. Not only does it add a little zip, it also mellows out the pungent flavor of the onions, so they don’t completely take over the salad.
As if all the flavors of this salad aren’t enough, it’s loaded with nutrition, which makes me want to eat it even more! Both tomatoes and watermelon are high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant that promotes eye and heart health. Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and these have been shown to lower the risk for heart disease and cancer. BONUS, BONUS, AND BONUS!
For me, it can’t get any better than a salad that tastes a delicious as it is healthy! I hope you enjoy it too!
Tomato-Watermelon Caprese Salad How-To Photos:
For pickled red onion, start with a red onion…
Cut onion into very thin slices – I used 1/4 of the onion.
Add vinegar; chill at least 4 hours. The photo below is after the pickling time – the onions get limp but they stay surprisingly crisp to eat.
Watermelon quarter – cut it into cubes
Yellow cherry tomatoes are so sweet and juicy. Cut them in half or leave them whole – or, do both for fun!
I grew mixed greens this summer (upper left pile), and my basil (upper right pile) and mint (bottom pile) did really well too!
Crumbled feta cheese – I use the full fat kind but feel free to use reduced-fat.
All tossed together and looking beautiful!
- ¼ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- Dash salt
- ¼ medium watermelon (about 2 ¼ pounds), cubed
- 2 cups yellow and/or red cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- 1 cup lightly packed mixed salad greens, such as arugula, spinach, and/or watercress
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese*
- For pickled red onion, in a small bowl combine onion slices and vinegar. Toss well to coat. Press down on onions so they are soaking in the vinegar as much as possible. Cover; chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days, stirring occasionally. Drain off vinegar when ready to serve.
- In a small jar with a lid combine oil, lemon juice and salt. Cover and shake well.
- In a large serving bowl gently toss together watermelon, tomatoes, drained onion, salad greens, basil and mint. Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese; serve immediately.
- *Tip: I’m not a “reduced-fat” kind of girl, but if it suits your fancy, go ahead and reduce the fat by using reduced-fat feta cheese.
- Nutrition Info (per 6 servings): 125 cals, 3 g pro, 10 g carb, 9 g fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 3 g sat fat, 1 g fiber, 145 mg sodium