The Golden Ingredient Trio To Build Better Watermelon Salads

When a heat wave persists, sometimes it is hard to get motivated to head into the kitchen. Between the heat of the stove or oven and the prep work involved, it is no wonder we are tempted to call for takeout and leave the cooking to the professionals while we luxuriate in air conditioning.

However, by avoiding the kitchen, we also may miss out on some of the bounties of the season. From fruits that are at the peak of their flavor to vegetables that are best when harvested in hot weather, there are many ingredients that make a fantastic cold dish. For example, by combining watermelon, avocado, and tomato in one dish, not only do you get a refreshing plate of produce at its peak flavors, but also a combination that emphasizes the best characteristics of each. Adaptable to different additional flavors and seasonings, avocado, watermelon, and tomato is a flavorful trio that will delight your taste buds while cooling you down.

Creating a watermelon, tomato, and avocado salad

Watermelon, tomato, and avocado all contribute to the deliciousness of the combination due to their taste and textural contrasts. The sweetness and crunch of the watermelon contrast with the umami and acid of the tomato, which in turn is smoothed by the creaminess of the avocado. When placed together with some minimal seasonings, you will receive a flavorful plate that is not only refreshing but also hydrating and nutritious.

Start by going to your local market and pick the freshest and best examples of each type of produce, alongside some fresh herbs and salad greens. Halve the watermelon, remove the flesh, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Cut the tomato and avocado to the same size. In a small bowl, toss together extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and coarsely ground pepper. Toss the salad greens, watermelon, tomato, and avocado pieces on a serving platter. If using some fresh herbs like mint or basil, tear them and sprinkle them on top. Dress the salad shortly before serving to prevent the greens from wilting.

A canvas for your imagination

With the trio of watermelon, tomato, and avocado forming the base, you can mix in additional ingredients to create hundreds of different dishes depending on your preferences. For example, feta cheese imparts additional saltiness and creaminess to the salad — while cubed mozzarella offers a milder option. Shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, or crab meat make for perfect companions to the trio, adding both sweetness and brininess that is unique to seafood. Consider mixing other vegetables into the mix as well, such as diced cucumbers, baby arugula, and spinach leaves.

A change of dressing can also alter the flavor of the salad. For example, substituting lemon zest and juice for lime, and adding sliced jalapenos and chopped cilantro lend the salad a southwestern flair perfect with grilled fish tacos. An Asian-inspired dressing of ginger, sesame oil, lime juice, and fish sauce boosts the umami of the tomato and lifts the sweetness of the watermelon, which will pairs well with chopped scallions or torn mint leaves.