This savory fruit salad isn't your typical watermelon and feta salad. Fresh greens, juicy ripe watermelon, fresh tomatoes, avocado, and salty pecorino cheese come together for a savory-sweet watermelon tomato salad that's irresistibly delicious.
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I grow fresh tomatoes in my garden during the summer months, so I'm always looking for ways to use them the best I can.
This watermelon and arugula salad recipe is taken to the next level with pecorino romano cheese. Yum!
Pecorino romano is a salty, nutty hard cheese that pairs so well with the sweet watermelon and the bite of spicy arugula.
When I told my mom about this salad, she said, "That just doesn't look right." It might not look right, but it's absolutely beautiful, and it tastes as good as it looks. I hope my mom, and you, will give it a try!
Surprise! A yellow watermelon!
I had planned on using yellow pear tomatoes and a traditional red watermelon for this salad. Thankfully, I still had some red heirloom cherry tomatoes that my neighbor had given me. The colors turned out great!
What you'll love about this watermelon salad recipe
- Beautiful: First of all, this salad is gorgeous. Whether you're looking for a special side dish for Independence Day or an easy addition to your weekly rotation, this recipe fits the bill.
- Healthy: This salad is brimming with healthy phytonutrients. Plus, avocado adds a hint of healthy Omega-3s!
- Simple: This salad is dressed with a white balsamic vinaigrette— just enough to bring out the beauty of the fresh flavors that this dish has to offer. I chose to kick things up a notch by using a honey white balsamic and a lemon flake finishing salt. The lemon salt is next level, so definitely pick it up if you can get your hands on some online or in your grocery store.
If I haven't sold you on this recipe already, just wait until you see how easy it is to assemble!
Ingredients for the BEST watermelon salad
- Watermelon: See advice below in the FAQs for more tips to use when picking out a watermelon!
- Tomatoes: As you've seen, any kind of tomatoes will do. I like using small cherry or pear tomatoes because they are usually sweet, and all you have to do is slice them in half.
- Cheese: The pecorino cheese finishes everything with a salty, savory flavor that brings everything together beautifully.
- Red onion: Onions make the perfect addition in this salad, adding a little bit of sweet spiciness.
- Fresh mint leaves: Fresh mint gives this salad a herbacious summery spin.
How to Make a Watermelon Salad
You will want to make this salad close to the time that you will serve it. However, if you do need to make it ahead, store the watermelon, tomatoes, and red onions in a separate container. Add these to the greens right before serving.
Pro-tip: I like to serve this salad in a flat bowl or on a platter. The presentation is gorgeous!
- Slice: Slice the tomatoes, red onion, and watermelon. You can use a melon baller if you want to be extra fancy.
- Greens: Add the arugula and baby kale to a large bowl. Make sure you have enough room for tossing.
- Top: Top the greens with the watermelon, tomatoes, and sliced red onion.
- Shave: Use a vegetable peeler to shave large shavings of pecorino onto the top of the salad.
- Finish: Finish with diced avocado, a splash of vinaigrette, and a sprinkle of craft salt and pepper.
FAQs and Pro Tips
Making the best salad possible requires the best ingredients that you can get your hands on! When picking a watermelon, knock on it with your fist and listen for its hollow sound. If you hear a low thud, the melon is likely to be dry and mealy. You can also check for a yellow patch on your melon. That's always a good sign as well.
Cut the ends off of your watermelon, then set your melon on one of the newly flat sides and carve the rind off with a large knife. Then, easily slice your melon into cubes! This video is similar to how I cut a watermelon; check it out here.
More summer recipes that you might like:
Savory Watermelon Salad With Pecorino Cheese
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 cups watermelon largely diced
- 1 cup mixed baby greens kale and arugula
- 1 tbsp fresh mint julienned
- ¼ red onion finely sliced
- 1 avocado diced
- Add the halved tomatoes, cubed watermelon, mixed greens, sliced red onion, and avocado to a large glass or plastic (non reactive) bowl.
- Dress the salad by adding the vinegar and olive oil direclty to the bowl, gently toss.
- To Serve: Top the salad with freshly ground pepper, lemon flake salt, and shaved pecorino romano cheese.