Watermelon Basil Salad

It hardly seems necessary to give you a recipe for a salad, but this combination of flavors is so delicious, it would have felt unkind not to share. I came home from the market last week and immediately made this giant salad for myself. If you’re adverse to heat, feel free to deseed the jalapeño or leave it out entirely. 

This recipe is not precise, but that’s purposeful. A watermelon salad for a lazy summer afternoon shouldn’t be too exacting, it should feel effortless and relaxed. Make up a bowl to share, or just for yourself and enjoy. This would also be nice dotted with a little bit of goat’s cheese, but I’ve kept this simple and vegan. 

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Watermelon Basil Salad with “Pickled” Onions and Jalapeño Vinaigrette

  • about 4 c. watermelon, cut into chunks
  • two handfuls of blueberries
  • a handful of coarsely torn basil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 jalapeño (deseeded, if you like), minced
  • salt and pepper

To start, place the sliced red onion into a bowl and cover it with red wine vinegar. Leave this to pickle while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients, or do this up to a few hours ahead of time so that the onion softens and becomes a translucent, jewel pink color. 

Add the watermelon, basil and blueberries to a wide, shallow bowl and toss gently with your hands to combine. Scatter the pickled onions over the top. 

To make the dressing, whisk a tablespoon of olive oil with as much of the red wine vinegar used to pickle the onions as you like, plus the jalapeño. Drizzle over the salad. Add a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.

Serves 2-3 normal people or one very greedy person.