American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Tomato and Watermelon SaladIn the spirit of Independence Day, here is a fabulous salad that will make you most popular at your next potluck. Yes, it seems strange to put tomatoes and watermelon together, but the result is divine. And full of lycopene, which will protect your skin from all that summer sun. 😉 It is also gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and very friendly to the waistline.

It originally came from Alex Guarnaschelli on the Food Network, and I just changed it up a bit to make it the way I like. And to make it a little easier since I am awfully lazy during the summer.

Here’s how to make it:


1 Tablespoon lemon juice (I add about 1/2 a lemon’s worth)

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil – depends on how much juice came out of the lemon, taste to see what you like

Salt and pepper

Makes enough dressing to serve about 8 people


About 2/3 tomatoes to 1/3 watermelon, enough to fill your salad bowl

A few strawberries if there are still any good ones at the market

2-3 Tablespoons of fresh basil; you can use 1 Tbs of fresh tarragon if you prefer

1-2 tsp of sugar

1. Mix lemon juice and vinegar, whisk in olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper, set aside

2. Chop large tomatoes into bite-size pieces, halve cherry or grape tomatoes, and place them all on a sheet pan cut side up

3. Sprinkle the tomatoes with some salt, pepper and sugar (taste to see how much sugar they need), then drizzle with a little dressing – do not refrigerate if you can help it

4. Cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces and put into the refrigerator to stay cold – you want the cold watermelon to contrast with the room-temp tomatoes

5. Chop the strawberries, if using, into small pieces and slice the basil into thin ribbons

6. Just before serving, mix the tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries and basil together and toss (gently) with enough dressing to lightly coat it all

7. Enjoy and accept all the compliments coming your way

This salad isn’t really a make-ahead one, but you can have the dressing ready and the ingredients chopped early and just toss at the last minute. Optional add-ins would be some feta or goat cheese and pistachios.

Here’s the link to the original: Tomato and Watermelon Salad by Alex Guarnaschelli. All of her recipes I’ve made so far have turned out fantastic; and while many are indulgent, some are healthy without trying to be (that just happens to be how they taste the most delicious.) Any cookbooks in the works, Alex?

Have a safe and delicious Holiday, everyone!






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