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This healthy, watermelon salad with basil is fresh and fruity with a great combination of textures and flavors. It’s served over a bed of leafy greens and topped with a refreshing watermelon reduction vinaigrette.

Top view of watermelon salad in a black bowl on wooden background. Salad spoons, pine nuts, blueberries and watermelon on the side.

Ingredients

Watermelon salad ingredients prepped on dark wood background.
  • watermelon – you will need a couple of small watermelons for this recipe: one for the vinaigrette and one for the salad. Make sure to choose seedless.
  • arugula
  • avocado
  • goat cheese – can be substituted with feta
  • blueberries
  • red onion
  • pine nuts
  • fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sea salt flakes – to garnish

What better way to complement the salad than with a watermelon vinaigrette? If you haven’t prepared a watermelon reduction before (also called watermelon molasses), you’re in for a treat. It’s a healthier way to add sweetness to the vinaigrette without adding any processed sugars. It’s simple to make and you’ll have mastered a new skill in the kitchen!

Serving Suggestions & Tweaks

Watermelon salad in a black salad bowl, front view.

When you serve your watermelon salad with basil, use white, green or pastel plates to keep the fresh summery theme going. Use plates with summer-inspired designs like leaves or flowers if you have any in your cabinet. Serve the salad with matching glasses, or fill your guests’ glasses with fruity drinks that match the salad’s bright shade. Something like this non-alcoholic blueberry mojito would be perfect!

This salad makes a refreshing and light lunchtime dish or side salad for dinner. You could pair it with classic summer meals, like barbecued proteins including steak, hotdogs and hamburgers. A light salad offsets the filling main so your guests shouldn’t feel too weighed down after they eat.

Remove the goat cheese if you’re vegan or have vegans joining you at the dinner table. It can be served on the side as an optional topping. You can swap it with feta if you prefer but I love the creamy, soft texture of the goat cheese with the fruit.

Watermelon salad in a black salad bowl with vinaigrette drizzling over, front view.

If you aren’t prepared to spend time making the watermelon reduction, it can easily be substituted with another fruity vinaigrette you have on hand or simply olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Storage

As long as there is no dressing on the leftover salad, you can cover it with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge as soon as possible. Try to eat it within the next 1 to 2 days so it stays fresh. Placing a piece of paper towel in the container can soak up moisture and help it last longer.

Watermelon salad in a black salad bowl, front view.

Leftover vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator in a squeeze bottle or glass jar.

Did you enjoy this watermelon basil salad? Let us know in the comments and please share the recipe!

Top view of watermelon salad in a black bowl, pine nuts and blueberries on the side.

Watermelon Salad With Basil

Joss D
This healthy, watermelon salad with basil is fresh and fruity with a great combination of textures and flavors. It’s served over a bed of leafy greens and topped with a refreshing watermelon reduction vinaigrette.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Canadian, Greek, Roman
Servings 4
Calories 328 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Watermelon Reduction:

  • 1 small watermelon - seedless

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup watermelon reduction - from above
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Salad:

  • 3 cups arugula
  • 3 cups watermelon - seedless and cubed
  • 1 cup avocado - cubed
  • 1 cup goat cheese - crumbled
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup red onion - thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup basil - coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt flakes - to taste

Instructions
 

For the Watermelon Reduction:

  • Remove the watermelon rind and cut the watermelon into cubes.
  • Add the watermelon cubes to a blender and process them until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the pulp. Alternatively, you can use a juicer.
  • Transfer the watermelon juice to a medium saucepan and heat it over medium heat.
  • Once it is simmering, lower the heat to medium-low.
  • Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The watermelon juice should be reduced by at least half. It may take longer for a juicier watermelon.
  • Let cool.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, watermelon reduction and salt. Reserve.

For the Salad:

  • In individual salad bowls, layer the arugula, watermelon cubes, avocado, goat cheese, blueberries and red onion.
  • Garnish with the pine nuts, basil leaves and flaky sea salt.
  • Serve with the watermelon vinaigrette on the side.

Notes

  • The nutrition information for this recipe does not include the vinaigrette.

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 14gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 218mgPotassium: 491mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1826IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

Keyword basil, watermelon
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