A salad isn’t complete without depth of flavor and contrast in texture. It needs oomph. Watermelon is tasty all alone, however, I want the big blue ribbon for this recipe: high-fives and maybe even a tear or two after each mouthwatering bite. So developing flavor with my watermelon is critical. I think there is no better marriage than watermelon and tomatoes. It’s a combination of flavor more intense and often overlooked than any other pair of ingredients . It’s more perfect than an empty house, kettle-corn, a glass of wine and Gilmore Girls on repeat. Okay, the cat’s out of the bag, I love kettle corn.
Tomatoes are a savory fruit, not at all a vegetable, and for this pairing I’m choosing the little beauties I wish I were able to carry around in my pocket: Sun Gold tomatoes. These little golden tomato drops are sweet, acidic and packed with flavor. As good as this salad would be with just tomatoes and watermelon, I think I have a trick with a few other simple ingredients to perfect this late summer salad.
I particularly enjoy the smaller mozzarella balls, “bocconcini,” because they offer no more or less flavor, but they are perfectly sized for a bite and elegantly created for a uniform look. When serving large groups, especially outside, family style is the way to go, but you don’t have to be less refined in the presentation.
So my recipe is pretty much complete. I’m going family style with a watermelon, tomato and mozzarella salad. I will add shaved red onion, apple-cider vinegar, mint and basil with a generous helping of a fine pressed olive oil to round out the umami. And for fun, creativity and sweetness, I’m going to brûlée my watermelon with sugar on the grill. Yes, you can toss up the high-five… now.