This ain’t your mama’s watermelon salad. Nor is it your your best friends. This one is packed with some unexpected and delicious secrets.
This has been THE salad of the summer for us. We’ve cooked it at tons of events so far and it’s been a huge hit!
Folks are always surprised when they take their first bite, because at first glance they think it’s one of those watermelon salads with mint and citrus. But no…..
We’ve got some secrets tucked in there, and they don’t involve mint or citrus.
We served this Watermelon Salad at an event recently alongside a Smoked Lil’ Chubbies Chorizo Verde Sausage. It paired great with Pinot Gris!
Since most of the events we do are at wineries, or events that involve wine pairing, we focus on making dishes that lend themselves better to wine. And for us that means we lean towards savory flavors. Mint can be tricky with wine, and the citrus is really best left for acidic white wines.
So what are our secret ingredients?
Basil and White Balsamic Vinegar
Yes! The combination is so delicious, and it may throw people off a bit at first, but after their first bite their eyes open wide and they look at you and give you that smile of approval that quietly says, “Oh yeah. This is goooood!”
“It’s so different,” they’ll say. “But I love it!” they’ll continue.
The flavors, combined with a hint of salt, create this great balance of savory and sweet, and work great when you pair them with wine, even a red like Pinot Noir. No lie! This past weekend, we served this at a wedding (!!!) we cooked at, and it was served with Pinot.
And just this morning I was absolutely thrilled to get to share this salad with the awesome folks at AM Northwest!
On the show I got to discuss my favorite ways to fully utilize a whole watermelon without resorting to the typical wedge slices. I used half for this salad, and the other half for this amazing Sparkling Watermelon Cocktail.
Both are creative and delicious uses for all that watermelon out there right now. And the best part is that they are both totally budget-friendly dishes!
When we usually make it for events we use the entire watermelon. A medium-large size watermelon will usually serve around 20-25 people. But for a smaller portion you can start with just a quarter of a watermelon. This should yield roughly 8 cups. The proportions are so easy that you can adjust the flavors based on your size crowd.
Starting with a whole watermelon, this is our usual proportion:
1 watermelon (cut into 1” cubes), ½ cup of white balsamic, ¼ cup basil (chopped), and then about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Combine all together and do a happy watermelon dance.
Since most people may not want a huge vat of watermelon salad lying around (unless you do, then feel free to use the portions above), I’ve adjusted it to a quarter of a watermelon, which should happily feed around 5-7 people.
- A quarter of 1 medium-sized seedless watermelon rind removed, and chopped into 1-inch cubes (roughly 8 cups)
- 2-4 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 heaping tablespoon basil chopped
- pinch of salt about 1/8th of a teaspoon
Combine watermelon cubes, white balsamic, basil, and salt in a large bowl. Gently use your hands to mix everything together. Adjust flavors to your preference (add more white balsamic if you desire).
Serve and enjoy this delicious and refreshing salad.
*Salad will keep up to 24 hours, after that it starts to get a bit soggy and not as crunchy and delicious like it should be. So enjoy it fresh!
Live On AM Northwest
And if you want to watch the live demonstration I got to do on AM Northwest, it’s right here!!! I explain how to make this salad and that gorgeous Sparkling Watermelon Cocktail (both the family friendly and adult versions).
*Just please don’t look at the closeup they did on my hands when chopping the watermelon. I had my nail polish all ready to paint my nails on the way to the studio and totally forgot! They are definitely not model hands! Eeeeeek! Lesson learned 😉
If you had trouble watching our segment on your mobile device you can CLICK HERE to be linked to the AM Northwest page to watch it there.
And thank you so very much to the amazing crew at AM Northwest for inviting us back again and again! We are truly honored to cook for you and your awesome crew!
You can find the recipe for the Sparkling Watermelon Cocktail HERE.
If you’re new to the site, welcome! You can find out a little more about us from the first time we were on AM Northwest, here.
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