Watermelon and tomato salad with (pine) nuts and (goat) cheese

Watermelon tomato saladSay hi to summer.

ingredients

  • some handfuls of 1-2 inch chunks of seedless watermelon
  • a more or less equal amount of ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • grey salt, kosher salt, fleur de sel, or salt of your choice, to taste
  • 3-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic or other vinegar of your choice
  • 1 cup tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, mint, chervil, tarragon, fennel fronds). The important thing is to use only fresh herbs.
  • a bunch of cups fresh tatsoi, arugula, or watercress, or a combination of all three, about 3 cups
  • some crumbled goat cheese or other cheese that you like
  • some pine nuts, very lightly toasted, or other nuts that you like

preparation

  • combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes.
  • add some oil and vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.
  • divide the greens and herbs among plates. Top with melon salad, sprinkle with the cheese and toasted nuts, or put some nuts and cheese out so that people can add their own

notes

This is a very forgiving recipe that can be easily modified depending on what you have around. The blend of sweet and tangy in the watermelon/tomato mixture is matched by the fresh and tangy of the greens. This salad is a great way to say hello to summer and to celebrate freshness all summer long. It takes about 10 minutes to pull together.

For this version, we visited our backyard tomato garden for basil, chervil, dill, and parsley. Use whatever you have around that will complement your main dish. This time, we didn’t use cilantro, although we have some, because we had some leftover green romesco sauce for the baked bluefish. (Take some bluefish, spread some olive oil on it with your fingers, sprinkle salt and pepper on it, bake in a 350 oven, skin side down, for about 15 minutes.)

The watermelon/tomato mix will get pretty runny; you can take advantage of this liquid in your dressing and only add enough vinegar to balance the oil. To avoid a watery plate, use a slotted spoon when you add the mix to your greens.

This is a casual salad—don’t get fussy about the sizes of the chunks. If you can fit them into your mouth, and they’re all more or less equal in size, that’s it. You can save the knife skills showoff for something more ambitious, like our veggie chili.

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