Thursday, June 4, 2009

Watermelon basil vinaigrette with hearts of romaine

Earlier this week, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a glorious sight. A sign that summer is surely upon us... that barbecues with friends and family are on the horizon, trips to the beach will dramatically increase, and that we will finally have to buck up and turn on the air conditioning. A huge overflowing pile of watermelons was before me, and I knew there was no way I was getting out of the store without one.

Granted, it is on the early side of watermelon season, even here in California. Watermelon means not only sticky hands, dripping chins and slurping up its pink fleshy goodness, but seeds. Oh, the seeds. Many will go out of their way for seedless versions, but not I. Many a watermelon seed spitting contest has occured at my cottage in New York, certain to get the competitive juices flowing and incite raucous laughter. Frequently, the target of our seed spitting exploits were Canadian geese sitting unassumingly at the waters edge below. First one to peg a goose was declared winner.. ahhh those were simpler times.

I found this recipe at, following a general Google search. It incorporates some of summers finest offerings into a light and lovely vinaigrette.

Watermelon Basil Vinaigrette
4 cups fresh watermelon, chopped and drained
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt and sugar in a large bowl. Pulse mixture in food processor until well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mixed greens, or hearts of romaine.

Super simple, very refreshing and quick would be the key things to know about this vinaigrette. It made way more than the posted two cups of dressing that was noted in the recipe. I could envision taking a bottle of this dressing to a picnic with a simple mixed green salad for a fantastic dish. Adding some mint to the recipe might make it an interesting addition to a fruit salad as well. It keeps for roughly 7-10 days refrigerated and covered.

I opted for olive oil in place of the canola oil. Canola just sounded a little off for a vinaigrette with these components to me. I added roughly a tablespoon more basil than called for, as well as a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You can see that per the photo the vinaigrette appears a bit chunky... it should be noted that I have a teeny tiny two cup food processor that likes to leave most combinations a bit more textured than intended. A regular processor should be just fine. Enjoy the spoils of summer and don't forget to spit some seeds!


janet said...

This looks so refreshing! I never would have thought to combine basil and watermelon.

The Wino said...

I love it! I will need to try this one, I love basil!

penelope said...

Sounds so delicious--and unique! Watermelon, YUM. Getting some for the cookout tomorrow, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

watermelon + salads, how could you go wrong?? this sounds just excellent for summer. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. Could also add some feta??? I love the watermelon spitting details!