This heirloom tomato and watermelon salad is a perfect taste of summer.
It’s official, summer is over.
At least in Toronto. The weather has cooled off and people are wearing coats at night.
I can see Facebook friends with kids are rejoicing that summer is finally over.
It’s a new beginning.
Perhaps that’s the best…or rather only way to look at it. Onto something new!
I have some big plans this fall. I’m traveling quite a bit and working on some projects that I had on the back burner for the last few years but I’m finally making it happen.
But before we toss summer completely aside let’s remember there’s nothing better than a salad in season.
This heirloom tomato and watermelon salad is the last flavour of the season.
I shared this watermelon salad recipe a few years ago. It’s only a few ingredients and so easy to make. I really loved it.
But Dave hates watermelon and I realized over the years I just stopped making it. I’m happy to rediscover the flavours this year.
An Easy Dish
This recipe is slightly adapted from my lunch at Diwan restaurant at the Aga Khan Museum. A few weeks ago I shared their Persian eggplant dip recipe.
This dish doesn’t feel particularly Middle Eastern, other than the pomegranate molasses, but I really enjoyed it.
Salty. Sweet. Fresh. All the best parts of summer.
I think the key to any tomato salad is to buy great tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market aren’t cheap compared to flavourless imported tomatoes at the supermarket…but hey you get what you pay for.
I think if you eat less meat in the summer it more than makes up for the expense of paying farmers a fair price for their hard word.
As this is a restaurant recipe it does call for a simple syrup but don’t feel intimidated. These syrups are so easy to make and they keep in the fridge.
And syrups aren’t just for salad in fact this basil and mint syrup is fantastic with classic drinks like a gin and tonic or added to our Spanish rose sangria.
Want more easy drink ideas?
Check out this easy elderfower cordial recipe.
You can buy pomegranate molasses in higher end supermarkets like Whole Foods or for less on Amazon, I like this one as it’s all natural without flavouring.
But you can also easily make it. Pomegranate molasses is simply reduced pomegranate juice.
You can simply heat the juice over medium low heat with a bit of sugar and lemon juice and simmer until it’s thickened to a syrup.
It keeps in the fridge for months so it really depends how ambitious you are in the kitchen.
Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad
- 4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- .5 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 200 grams macedonian feta cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- .5 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespooons pomegranate molasses
- mint and basil leaves for garnish
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- .75 cup olive oil
- .5 cup sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- .25 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- .75 cup water
- .5 cup fresh mint leaves
- .25 cup fresh basil leaves
Toss tomatoes, watermelon, and onion with salt, pepper and sherry vinaigrette. Put mixture into a serving bowl.
Top with feta cheese. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and mint, basil syrup.
Taste for seasoning and add kosher and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Garnish with fresh mint and basil.
In a bowl use a hand blender to mix sliced onion, garlic cloves with ½ the amount of lemon juice until smooth.
Add remainder of the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper and mix.
Slowly add oil to the mix and blend until combined.
Mint and Basil Syrup
Add sugar and water in a sauce pan or small pot and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Take it off the heat and let cool. Can make this ahead of time and have this simple syrup stored in the fridge.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the basil, mint leaves submerged for 10-15 seconds until wilted. Immediately remove them from the water into an ice bath to cool and prevent the leaves from cooking further.
Once cool, drain the leaves on a paper towel. Combine the cold syrup and herbs into a blender and pulse for 2 minutes until a smooth puree. It should be a beautiful green colour.
The mixture can be strained through a fine meshed sieve to remove any large pieces.
You can substitute the Macedonian feta with any feta. Macedonian feta is more creamy and soft, which makes it perfect for salad but Greek and even Canadian feta is also fantastic.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 731Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 578mgCarbohydrates: 122gFiber: 2gSugar: 116gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Note: You can substitute the Macedonian feta with any feta. Macedonian feta is more creamy and soft, which makes it perfect for salad but Greek and even Canadian feta is also fantastic.