Fresh as summer watermelon salad with basil and cucumber is crunchy, herby and uses all the summer produce that’ll keep you cool. Served chilled, this salad is made for balmy evenings, family potlucks and barbecues.
I’ve told you before that I don’t like watermelon and yet, this is my second watermelon recipe this season. I guess I can’t get enough lately. And I’m discovering my love for this right now. Better late than never.
A good watermelon salad when it’s hot and sweaty can immediately lift the mood as I’m discovering these days. We inhale this by the bowlful on most days now.
Most watermelon salad recipe are feta based with a balsamic dressing. But this one’s different. This is more like a mediterranean watermelon salad with fresh cucumber, basil, cilantro, roasted cumin, oregano and pomegranate juice in the dressing. There’s a sharp flavour from the mustard and red onions that’s a nice balance to all the sweetness. And the herbs really make the watermelon shine. If you can’t live without the saltiness of feta, go ahead and add it if you want, but I don’t mind leaving it out.
Pick the right watermelon
It’s really important that you pick watermelon thats ripe. Here in India, the fun thing is you can ask the vendor to cut open the watermelon and even let you taste it before you have to buy it. But I guess that’s just India. Here are some tips that can help you choose watermelon.
Make this watermelon salad ahead
This watermelon salad can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. I recommend chilling it for at least half an hour. Leave the herbs out and dress everything else and store it in the fridge. Just before serving, toss the basil and cilantro in, so that they don’t wilt completely by the time people start eating.
You might notice that the dressing pools at the bottom if you leave the salad in the fridge for too long, but just give it a quick toss and you are good to go.
This recipe really makes me feel like I’m summer ready! A watermelon under my arm and I can tackle everything.
Also try: This Watermelon Lime Smoothie for a quick pick me up!Print
This watermelon salad with basil and cucumber is a summer special thats fresh, zippy and crunchy! It can be dressed without the herbs and left in the refrigerator for a few hours till you are ready to serve which makes it perfect for potlucks, barbecues and beach parties.
For the Salad
- 4 cups cubed Watermelon, chilled
- 1 1/4 cup diced English Cucumber, chilled
- 1/2 cup sliced Onions
- 3 tablespoon Coriander leaves (Cilantro), chopped
- 3 tablespoon Basil, torn
- 3 tablespoon Pomegranate Juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk together till combined.
- Place the watermelon, cucumber, onions in a salad bowl and drizzle the dressing over. Toss together. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavours seep in. Toss the cilantro and basil with the salad just before serving.
Watermelon: It’s important to choose a ripe watermelon for its firm flesh and sweet flavour that we love so much. Here’s how to pick a ripe watermelon.
Chill the ingredients: This salad is best enjoyed cold. I like to place the watermelon and cucumbers in the fridge for sometime before tossing the salad together. I also refrigerate the salad for some time before serving so that it stays cold, and this also gives a chance for the flavours to seep in.
Other Add Ons: This is a really well balanced salad and has a robust flavour from the spices. The only other addition I would make to this is crumbled feta.
Substitute for Coriander (Cilantro): If you don’t like coriander in your salad, swap it with mint leaves.