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Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

This heirloom tomato and watermelon salad is a perfect taste of summer.

It’s official, summer is over.

At least in Toronto. The weather has cooled off and people are wearing coats at night.

I can see Facebook friends with kids are rejoicing that summer is finally over. It’s a new beginning. 

Perhaps that’s the best…or rather only way to look at it. Onto something new!

I have some big plans this fall. I’m traveling quite a bit and working on some projects that I had on the back burner for the last few years but I’m finally making it happen.

But before we toss summer completely aside let’s remember there’s nothing better than a salad in season. This heirloom tomato and watermelon salad is the last flavour of the season.

I shared this watermelon salad recipe a few years ago. It’s only a few ingredients and so easy to make. I really loved it. But Dave hates watermelon and I realized over the years I just stopped making it. I’m happy to rediscover the flavours this year.

This recipe is slightly adapted from my lunch at Diwan restaurant at the Aga Khan Museum. A few weeks ago I shared their Persian eggplant dip recipe. This dish doesn’t feel particularly Middle Eastern, other than the pomegranate molasses, but I really enjoyed it.

Salty. Sweet. Fresh. All the best parts of summer.

I think the key to any tomato salad is to buy great tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market aren’t cheap compared to flavourless imported tomatoes at the supermarket…but hey you get what you pay for.

I think if you eat less meat in the summer it more than makes up for the expense of paying farmers a fair price for their hard word.

As this is a restaurant recipe it does call for a simple syrup but don’t feel intimidated. These syrups are so easy to make and they keep in the fridge. And syrups aren’t just for salad in fact this basil and mint syrup is fantastic with classic drinks like a gin and tonic or added to our Spanish rose sangria.

Want more easy drink ideas? Check out this easy elderfower cordial recipe.

Ingredient note!

You can buy pomegranate molasses in higher end supermarkets like Whole Foods or for less on Amazon, I like this one as it’s all natural without flavouring.

But you can also easily make it. Pomegranate molasses is simply reduced pomegranate juice. You can simply heat the juice over medium low heat with a bit of sugar and lemon juice and simmer until it’s thickened to a syrup.

It keeps in the fridge for months so it really depends how ambitious you are in the kitchen.

 

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Instructions
Salad
  1. Toss tomatoes, watermelon, and onion with salt, pepper and sherry vinaigrette. Put mixture
    into a serving bowl.

  2. Top with feta cheese. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and mint, basil syrup.

  3. Taste for seasoning and add kosher and freshly ground black pepper as needed.

  4. Garnish with fresh mint and basil.

Sherry Vinaigrette
  1. In a bowl use a hand blender to mix sliced onion, garlic cloves with ½ the amount of lemon juice until smooth

  2. Add remainder of the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper and mix.

  3. Slowly add oil to the mix and blend until combined.

Mint and Basil Syrup
  1. Add sugar and water in a sauce pan or small pot and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Take it
    off the heat and let cool. Can make this ahead of time and have this simple syrup stored in the
    fridge.

  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the basil, mint leaves submerged for 10-15 seconds until
    wilted. Immediately remove them from the water into an ice bath to cool and prevent the
    leaves from cooking further.

  3. Once cool, drain the leaves on a paper towel. Combine the cold syrup and herbs into a blender
    and pulse for 2minutes until a smooth puree. It should be a beautiful green colour.

  4. The mixture can be strained through a fine meshed sieve to remove any large pieces.

Note: You can substitute the Macedonian feta with any feta. Macedonian feta is more creamy and soft, which makes it perfect for salad but Greek and even Canadian feta is also fantastic.

 

 

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad is a post from: Bacon is Magic

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