Watermelon and Tomato Salad

I first had a version of this salad a few years ago at Stevie Parle‘s restaurant Rotorino, when my friend Alex Jackson (founder of brilliant provençal restaurant, Sardine) was cooking there. It made a big impression on me – exhilarating and addictive without overwhelming. Last night, when it was briefly warm and sunny after days of grim rain, I made it for some friends to eat before a rich homemade pasta and ragu bolognese cooked by my partner Sam.

The salad had a *very* warm reception, and I will certainly make it again, and versions thereof. 


1 smallish, ripe sweet watermelon – ours had a diameter of around 8 inches – or an equivalent amount of watermelon – peeled and cut into 1- 2inch chunks 

an equivalent amount of good tomato, cut into different sized pieces

approx. 15 greek-style dry black olives, pitted and halved

a small bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped

a small bunch of fresh basil torn up (optional, we just had some in the garden)

3 tablespoons worth of salty cheese, broken up into small lumps (I used parmesan, Rotorino used salted ricotta, you could use feta etc)

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon

– I added some blobs regular ricotta on top that needed using up – they did no harm but are really not necessary

How to make

Get a big dish, mix everything together just before serving with a hefty few pinches of salt, with the juice of the lemon, and 4-5 tablespoons of  extra virgin olive oil. 

On another occasion I might use fresh red chilli and try out other herbs like dill or tarragon. 


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