The sweet flavor of watermelon needs a little acid to shake it up. Lemon and lime work, but sometimes they aren’t enough. Bring on the balsamic vinegar, and watermelon salad gets lively. It’s sweet and tart and little rough around the edges.
Fresh basil is one of my favorite scents of summer. It’s best friends with balsamic vinegar, and it pairs well with watermelon and other fruits. I use lemon basil if I have it, but regular Italian basil works fine too.
I cut up watermelon with a gizmo my cousin gave me. You can buy one online if you’re going to be cubing watermelon regularly, as it makes the job simple. Or use a melon baller to create cute orbs of juicy watermelon for this salad.
Any shape is fine, but be sure to drain the cut-up watermelon in a colander over a bowl for a few minutes so the salad doesn’t get too watery. (Save the juice to mix with seltzer or pour over ice for a great summer refresher.)
Add any fruits you wish to this salad: blueberries, sliced strawberries, kiwi, banana, blackberries, pineapple, cantaloupe — all work well. If you add bananas, toss them in lemon juice first so they don’t turn brown.
Be careful not to overdo the balsamic vinegar. A little adds punch, but too much can overwhelm the delicate fruit flavors in the salad. I prefer the smooth flavor of lime juice in the dressing but lemon juice works also, although it adds a bit more tartness.
Balsamic Watermelon Salad
Balsamic vinegar dressing adds a sweet, tart flavor to counter the sweetness of watermelon in this summer fruit salad.
- 6 cups cubed watermelon
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons organic canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon liquid stevia
- a pinch of sea salt
Place the watermelon in a colander over a bowl, and allow it to drain for 5-10 minutes. (Save the juice for another use.)
In a large bowl, toss the watermelon, berries, pineapple and basil, and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the fruit and toss gently.
Watermelon is a friendly fruit, so pair it with any fruits you prefer: strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries, bananas, pineapple, fresh apricots, cantaloupe, etc.