Thursday, August 12, 2010

5 Salads in 5 Days: Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Ok, back to the New York Times article today! I took a leap of faith and finally tried a salad I've been meaning to make for many many years. Literally, I've always been intrigued by watermelon and tomato salads, but in the end always decided that I probably wouldn't like it too much based on two basic principles: I don't like tomatoes that much and I don't like to mix fruit with savory food. The first reason is just a sad fact of life, regardless of how much I love tomato sauce, tomato juice and bits of tomatoes in lots of little things (does guacamole count?) I rarely eat a tomato in a salad unless it's a little grape tomato. It's sad, but true. I've made little strides in recent years in my quest to like tomatoes, but a whole bowl full of them for lunch sounds daunting. The second reason is also a lame preference of mine. I don't like really like fruit in my dinner foods. No pineapple on my pizza, no mango in my fried rice, etc. etc. Now I know yesterday's salad had apple in it, but for some reason that was different to me. The whole Waldorf salad thing must be ingrained in me so that one gets a pass. Needless to say, a watermelon and tomato salad doesn't sound like something I would really enjoy, but for some reason I just always want to try it. Sure enough, there it was #1 on the New York Times list of 101 salad recipes. It must have gotten top billing for a reason, right?

I think so. I have to say that after making this salad, I really enjoyed it. I might have even furthered my enjoyment of tomatoes at the same time! This recipe, like all of them, is extremely simple:

2 cups cubed watermelon
1-2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1-2 Tbsp. basil, julienned
1 Tbps. basic balsamic vinaigrette
black pepper to taste

Toss and serve. The combination of watermelon and tomato is famous because it really works. The tomatoes tasted like candy and the watermelon especially fresh and light in contrast. The basil and vinaigrette assure that this doesn't end up tasting like a fruit salad and the entire combination is delightful. I can't believe I waited so long to make this!

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