Fourth of July

Watermelon, Tomato, and Four-Herb Salad

July  1, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This salad is exactly what I want to make and eat during the heat of summer -- either as a light dinner or a side to grilled meat. It’s inspired by the various watermelon and feta salads I’ve made over the years. For this version, I decided to pay homage to the recipes from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi by using a large quantity of herbs. With equal parts torn basil, mint, and tarragon, it’s my favorite version that I’ve made to date. The herbs add a lot of interest to the salad, and the lemon-rosemary vinaigrette (which is both a marinade and a dressing) unites all of the components -- with the sweet heat of the Aleppo for balance. I opted to add shaved pecorino, but feel free to use feta if it's what you have on hand. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

Love it! Juicy, interesting, and delicious, this salad would be perfect for a warm summer picnic. Heed the recipe's cautions against overdressing. Texturally, it is not all that varied, so I recommend leaving the walnuts pretty chunky. —Katherine

  • Serves 2 to 4
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 3 cups seedless watermelon cubes (about 1-inch in size)
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 ounce aged pecorino, thinly shaved
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. To make the vinaigrette: Combine lemon juice and zest, rosemary, and Aleppo in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oils until emulsified. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  2. Combine the watermelon cubes and cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Set aside for about 10 minutes to marinate.
  3. Toss together the arugula, herbs, walnuts, and pecorino in a large serving bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt. Add the watermelon cubes and cherry tomatoes, draining off any excess liquid that's accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Add just enough additional vinaigrette to lightly coat the arugula and herbs, taking care to not overdress. Toss lightly, and season to taste with sea salt, freshly -ground black pepper, and Aleppo for more heat.

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Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.