This title is a long one, but I have a lot to say about it. Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with Corn Vinaigrette has so many flavor and texture components that make this a classic summer salad, it’s fresh, raw, and uses three main ingredients that are the epitome of summer product. Fresh watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and a delicious dressing that contains less than 5 ingredients, makes up this recipe. It’s a great recipe to showcase summer in a sweet and savory way.
The balance of flavors in this simple salad is amazing, you have a tart component from the fresh lime juice in the dressing with the sweet and starchy mouthfeel from the corn, juicy and sweet watermelon, and rich tomatoes. Garnishing this salad with creamy avocado and fresh parsley makes it that much better. If you have any late summer parties, BBQ’s, or last trips to the farmers market, be sure to share this one with friends and family- I promise it won’t disappoint. It’s visually beautiful, but can make a large serving very affordably because of the amount of watermelon used.
I have a thing for heirloom tomatoes. Granted I do love other tomato varieties, but there’s something incredibly special about heirloom tomatoes. Out of all the tomatoes they’re always the most beautiful visually, with swirls of two or three colors in one tomato and sweet yet rich flavors. Whenever I bite into an heirloom tomato I get a strong sense of what the growing season was like, what other crops were grown nearby- it’s that unique combination of earthiness and sweet that makes heirloom tomato varieties my favorite.
What are heirloom tomatoes? Heirloom tomatoes are just one of the many varieties of tomatoes, heirlooms are grown without any genetic modification, which normally makes tomatoes look perfectly round and uniform in red color. Not these beauties, these are all beautifully and perfectly unique in their own way, showcasing multiple colors, funky shapes and corks about them that make them quite mesmerizing. Therefore are considered genetically “unique”, just like us! Cheesy analogy, but it’s true. I’ve already made this recipe about 3 times since developing and putting the final touches on it, sometimes I use a combination of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes from our garden, which have been incredibly sweet and ripe this season.
It’s not all about the heirloom tomatoes in this recipe though, we have to talk about this sweet Corn Vinaigrette. I’ll save the details on why I’ve been LOVING watermelon this season since we’ve chatted about it in several other summer inspired recipes. This sweet corn dressing was inspired by a technique I read in the summer issue of Bon Appétit, they had a tomato water recipe that was a stunner and I loved the idea of using tomatoes in a unique way. Similar to their technique of creating tomato water, I use a creative way to utilize the sweet and starchy flavors of corn by extracting the natural water and juices in it. I’ll save the details of how to do this for the actual recipe, but just note that the prep time for this recipe comes from playing the waiting game of the corn releasing it’s liquid.
A couple of additions I’ve really been enjoying to this salad has been steamed edamame, hemp seeds, and chickpeas for boosts in protein. Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with Corn Vinaigrette is great as a side dish, a topping on fresh greens (like romaine lettuce or spinach), or served in a large bowl for an entree with some of those options mentioned above. I’ve been enjoying this almost everyday for a quick lunch for a week- it’s so simple to throw on top of romaine lettuce, sprinkle with hemp seeds and beans, and a little avocado.
- 4 cups watermelon, cubed
- 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (about 3 cups), cubed
- 1 ear fresh corn kernels
- parsley to garnish
- extra sea salt to garnish
- 1 avocado, diced for garnish
- DRESSING //
- 1 ear fresh corn kernels (to make the corn water)
- 1 cup filtered water (to make the corn water)
- ½ cup of the corn water (after it's made)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon pink sea salt
- juice of 1 lime
- fresh black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all cubed tomatoes, watermelon, and adjust seasonings to taste (sea salt and black pepper).
- DRESSING //
- Using the fresh corn kernels, blend with the water in a blender. Pour this mixture into a nut milk bag or mesh bag and gently press the liquid from the bag over a large pitcher, catching all the liquid. Continue gently squeezing until all the liquid is released from the corn kernels. Hang the nut milk/mesh bag over the bowl or large pitcher and allow the remaining liquid to drop over the next hour. Set aside.
- Once all the liquid is released from the corn, you're left with corn water. Use this in combination with all other dressing ingredients and combine in a blender to emulsify. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the tomato watermelon salad before serving only.
- Top with extra sea salt, pepper, parsley, and fresh avocado.
- Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, well covered.
Check out more of what’s in season in the summer with the Summer Produce Guide. We’re coming up on the end of summer (eeek, I hate to be the one to say it as I’ve been selfishly avoiding talking about fall and fall recipes here on Nutrition Stripped. I love summer it’s hard to let it go!). Since we’re on the topic of fall, any fall recipes you’d love to see on Nutrition Stripped this season… besides pumpkin guys ;)
Hope you all love it!
p.s.s. If I were to create a meal plan, a highly requested topic, would you all enjoy that? 7-day menu? Comment below please! I know many of you stop by to read, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this by commenting.