Tomato Salad with a Twist

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve never seen a tomato and watermelon salad on blogs. Cause I have. I just hadn’t eaten one until I was in New York City recently visiting my daughter.

She took us to Governor’s Island for a beautiful walk, followed by lunch at Island Oyster. The view of the Manhattan skyline was spectacular.

It was there I had my first lobster roll, for which the restaurant is popular. We shared the tomato watermelon salad.

Well, the lobster roll was exquisite, but so was the salad. Once home, I decided to make my own tomato and watermelon salad, but with a twist.

When I received some fresh peaches a few weeks ago, I stuck a few slices in a jar of apple cider vinegar, along with a couple chile peppers. This is the photo I posted on Instagram.

For the vinaigrette, I used this fruity-zingy vinegar whisked together with good olive oil and a bit of salt. It’s always interesting that fruit pales when stored in vinegar or vodka over time.

I first chopped my garden-ripe cherry and grape tomatoes in half and added them to a paper towel-lined bowl to rest for about 30 minutes and release unnecessary liquid.

Discard the paper towel, then chop the watermelon and add them to the tomatoes, along with a small, finely-chopped shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Add peach vinaigrette to taste to the tomato and watermelon salad and stir gently.

Season with more salt and pepper if desired.


As delicious as this salad is, I decided on a little more zing so I diced a jalapeno and added it.

I preferred the salad this way, but of course the jalapeño is optional. And if you don’t like biting into bits of chile pepper, you can always include a few squirts of Tabasco in your vinaigrette.

I’d originally thought I’d use the peachy vinegar on some butter lettuce, maybe with avocado, but with this salad, it adds a different sweetness from the watermelon, plus a zing from the chile peppers.

All this salad needs is some good olive oil and perhaps a white balsamic, however. The peach vinegar is not a requirement!

By Published On: August 28th, 201948 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

48 Comments

  1. Jodi August 28, 2019 at 6:36 AM - Reply

    I must try!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      It’s so good. An interesting combination that really works. I have made watermelon salad with pecorino before, and some people add feta, but I actually kind of like this salad without cheese. And you don’t hear me say that often!

  2. Kelly | Foodtasia August 28, 2019 at 7:50 AM - Reply

    Mimi, what a fantastic salad! I’ve got all the ingredients in the fridge so I’ll have to try it tonight. That peach vinaigrette looks amazing!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      Of course, the peach vinaigrette isn’t a pre-requisite. Just a good olive oil and something like a white balsamic. I couldn’t believe how good this combination was! Where have I been??!!!🙄

  3. Jeff the Chef August 28, 2019 at 8:24 AM - Reply

    I have to say, it’s a beautiful salad. I love the uniformity of color with little pops of contrast. It always surprises me when watermelon shows up in a savory context. I mean, it shouldn’t surprise me any longer … my favorite restaurant serves a salad of watermelon-and-pork-belly salad with Persian spices that’s out of this world! So, I’ve no doubt I’d love this salad – especially with garden-grown tomatoes, which just can’t be beat.

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      Oh wow, does that sound wonderful. Make it for the blog!!! I remember hearing about people who put salt on watermelon, and I always thought it was weird, but obviously I had no idea! In fact, I had a vinaigrette in a bowl that I’d made for a different recipe, and I kept dipping watermelon into it. I think just really good Kalamata-tasting olive oil and some salt would be enough over watermelon.

      • Jeff the Chef August 28, 2019 at 8:50 AM

        Hmm. I’ll be going there this weekend. I’ll have to study the dish and see if I can recreate it.

      • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 9:15 AM

        It sounds amazing.

  4. kitchenriffs August 28, 2019 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    Love watermelon in salads! It’s such a versatile ingredient, and works really well in savory dishes. Good recipe. And lobster rolls! Love ’em. :-) Glad you got to try one.

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 11:39 AM - Reply

      I know! Finally! And we lived on Long Island for a couple of years. Maybe they were too pricey… Watermelon has become more of a versatile ingredient for me than it ever was. But I still like enjoying it on a hot summer day!

  5. Fran @ G'day Souffle' August 28, 2019 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    I’ll be staying in NYC for 5 weeks soon- ,must try Island Oyster and their Lobster Roll! For some reason, I don’t care for watermelon (can you believe it!), but maybe combined with the chile pepper and zingy vinegar, I might be able to enjoy it!

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 11:38 AM - Reply

      Oh fun! It’s a quick ferry ride from Brooklyn, and a nice walk around. On the day we were there, nobody was around, maybe because we were the only idiots who chose to get outside on such a hot day!

  6. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats August 28, 2019 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    Looks refreshing! Glad you enjoyed your lobster roll. :)

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 12:24 PM - Reply

      It was so good.

  7. Sunnycovechef August 28, 2019 at 5:59 PM - Reply

    I need to get a watermelon to make this great looking salad. I miss New York

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 6:00 PM - Reply

      Yes, you do! I couldn’t live there, but it is certainly fun to visit!

  8. Debra August 28, 2019 at 7:05 PM - Reply

    I currently have the happy dilemma of “too many” tomatoes, so this recipe delights me! I can’t wait to try it. Perfect for the holiday weekend coming up, as we wait out the heat. :-)

    • chef mimi August 28, 2019 at 9:51 PM - Reply

      Love it. Me, too. Waiting on having too many zucchini as well. They’re a bit late this year!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 29, 2019 at 1:45 AM - Reply

    I am not keen on fruit in salads, but I am keen on trying the idea of the paper towel-lined bowl. I shall give it a go next time I make a salad :)

    • chef mimi August 29, 2019 at 4:49 PM - Reply

      Okay! Glad I can help!

  10. cookingontheweekends August 29, 2019 at 2:10 PM - Reply

    I’ve never seen this on a menu and I’ve definitely never had this combination of ingredients. I’m all about using as much summer fruit as possible in these next couple of weeks, while we still can, so I will try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • chef mimi August 29, 2019 at 4:49 PM - Reply

      My first reaction when I saw this salad combination, probably on a blog, wasn’t positive, but I’m so glad I finally tried it! It’s truly magical!

  11. neil@neilshealthymeals.com August 29, 2019 at 10:51 PM - Reply

    Waiting for my next batch of cherry tomatoes from my parents greenhouse so this recipe wuld be idea for that. Plus Lynne loves her jalapeno’s so as I always have trouble getting her to eat her veggies I think this delicious recipe will help with that! Ha ha!

    • chef mimi August 30, 2019 at 3:22 PM - Reply

      It sounds perfect for Lynne! The combination is really special.

  12. Healthy World Cuisine August 31, 2019 at 3:15 PM - Reply

    Hi there Mimi! This salad looks so refreshing and perfect as a side for tonights BBQ. Just got a huge batch of heirloom tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market this morning… Yum

    • chef mimi August 31, 2019 at 4:13 PM - Reply

      Oh perfect! This combination is outstanding!

  13. Abbe@This is How I Cook August 31, 2019 at 9:58 PM - Reply

    Oh my! What a great summer salad and trip. First lobster roll? We must get you to the city more often! But I’m loving this idea of peach vinegar and I am so loving this salad. Thanks Mimi.

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      I even lived on Long Island for a couple of years. Maybe lobster was too expensive for my parents? I’m just glad I finally had one!

  14. Frank Fariello September 1, 2019 at 8:10 AM - Reply

    Hmm… I hadn’t actually seen or heard of this particular combination, but I’m intrigued. I think I’m with you—a bit of jalapeño sounds like a nice touch.

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 8:12 AM - Reply

      And I liked the bit of zing in the vinaigrette from the peach vinegar as well, but I never mind more zing!

  15. Angela@eatlivehappy September 1, 2019 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    Yummy! I Love the peach vinaigrette and jalapeno!

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 12:12 PM - Reply

      Thank you! It came out really good!

  16. David Scott Allen September 1, 2019 at 11:24 AM - Reply

    Sounds absolutely delightful – refreshing!

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 12:12 PM - Reply

      It is. In fact, I have leftover vinaigrette in a bowl and I’ve been dipping watermelon into it for my breakfasts!

  17. Vicki Bensinger September 1, 2019 at 1:50 PM - Reply

    Both peaches and tomatoes are so refreshing! I can’t think of a salad that would lift you up more than this. Fresh, vibrant, juicy and so healthy!

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 3:04 PM - Reply

      Exactly! I can’t believe I waited so long to try this combination!

  18. popsiclesociety September 1, 2019 at 8:06 PM - Reply

    I love that kick of jalapeño :) Flavorful but also refreshing :)

    • chef mimi September 1, 2019 at 8:25 PM - Reply

      Definitely. A perfect combo!

  19. Marie September 1, 2019 at 9:19 PM - Reply

    This salad looks so delicious and refreshing! Love the addition of the peach vinaigrette.

    • chef mimi September 2, 2019 at 10:13 AM - Reply

      Thank you Marie! It all worked really well together!

  20. Eva Taylor September 3, 2019 at 7:02 AM - Reply

    An unusual but definitely an intriguing salad. Will definitely make this before all the melons disappear.

    • chef mimi September 3, 2019 at 7:41 AM - Reply

      The combination is fantastic. Not expected, at least by me. Some people make the salad but also add cheese, but (for once) I don’t think cheese is necessary or even helps.

  21. sippitysup September 4, 2019 at 2:18 PM - Reply

    Sweet and savory. For me it started with caramel and sea salt. This watermelon and tomato combination proves the concept once again. GREG

    • chef mimi September 4, 2019 at 2:52 PM - Reply

      AH yes. Caramel and salt is a revelation!

  22. Our Growing Paynes September 6, 2019 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    The dressing sounds so refreshing and lovely.

    • chef mimi September 6, 2019 at 11:50 AM - Reply

      That’s exactly what it is!

  23. Sissi September 6, 2019 at 9:51 AM - Reply

    It’s more than a salad with a twist! For me it’s a unique and fascinating tomato salad! And the flavoured vinegar sounds amazing.

    • chef mimi September 6, 2019 at 11:50 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much. A really good olive oil is also important. I thought about walnut oil and then decided that might detract.

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