Weeknight Cooking

Watermelon Tomato Salad + Blueberry Grappa Sauce

June 22, 2014

We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there. 

Today: Double up on summer fruit for dinner and dessert.


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You've waited all fall, winter, and spring for summer fruit to arrive at the market. Sure, you enjoyed autumn pumpkin, winter cabbage, and spring asparagus, but be honest with yourself: You've been waiting for tomatoes. And watermelon. And blueberries.

Now that summer produce is here, why hold back? For dinner tonight, you don't have to make a choice between your favorite summer fruits. Go savory with a spicy watermelon-tomato salad for dinner -- and, because man cannot live on fruit alone, have some bread and cheese, too. Then sweeten up the meal with blueberry sauce for dessert. 

The Menu

Take advantage of our handy grocery list and game plan, or click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.

Watermelon Tomato Salad with Cumin and Fennel by Amanda Hesser

Blueberry Grappa Sauce by Amanda Hesser



The Grocery List

Serves 4

6 cups cubed (1/2-inch cubes) watermelon
2 heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons raw sugar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon grappa
1/4 cup sliced mint
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
A 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Fresh bread
Cheese of your choice
Ice cream, fresh ricotta cheese, or Greek yogurt

You probably have sugar, salt, cumin, turmeric, and chile powder in your kitchen. If not, make sure to pick those up at the store, too. 

The Plan

1. Purée 2 cups of the watermelon in a blender. Set it aside. Core the tomatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. 

2. Shave a 3-inch piece of zest from the lemon. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of blueberries, the raw sugar, the lemon zest, and the grappa. Bring it all to a simmer, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes. A purply syrup should form, but the berries should not break down. Add more syrup to taste. Set aside. 

3. Add the tomatoes to a large bowl with the rest of the watermelon, 1 teaspoon of sugar, a large pinch of salt, the sliced mint, and the lime juice.

4. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and thinly coat the bottom with olive oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle in the fennel seeds, the ginger, and 1 teaspoon of cumin and toast for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric and chile powder, followed by 1/2 cup of the watermelon purée and the juice of the zested lemon. Bring it to a simmer, add salt or sugar to taste, and cook for 1 minute.

5. Pour the sauce over the watermelon and tomatoes and gently fold everything together. Divide among four shallow bowls, and serve with fresh bread and your favorite cheese.

6. When you’re ready for dessert, warm up the small pan of blueberries on the stove. Fold in the remaining fresh blueberries, then serve the sauce over ice cream, fresh ricotta cheese, or Greek yogurt. 

Photos by James Ransom and Melanie Einzig 

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