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!

48 thoughts on “Tomato Salad with a Twist

    • 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!

  1. 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!

    • 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??!!!🙄

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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!

  4. 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!

    • 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!

  5. 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. :-)

  6. 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!

    • 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!

  7. 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!

    • 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!

    • 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.

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