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Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil Oil

A basil-infused oil makes a sweet, herbaceous dressing for summer produce and creamy goat cheese.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • servings: 4
Photography: Christopher Baker

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Ingredients

For the basil oil

  • 2 cups fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 6 cups cold cubed watermelon (from about 4 1/2 pounds watermelon), rind removed
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese (4 ounces)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the basil oil: Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch basil for 1 minute. Transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain.

  2. Step 2

    Puree basil in a blender with olive oil until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve set over a bowl. Let stand until oil drips through, about 1 hour (do not squeeze cheesecloth).

  3. Step 3

    Make the salad: Toss together watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle with basil oil and more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, August 2011

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Reviews (1)

  • 21 Aug, 2011

    This salad was delicious. The combination sounded strange at first, but the sweet watermelon mixed so well with the tomatoes and goat cheese. HOWEVER, you do not need all the basil oil, or even half of it.!! I used about 1/4 of the amount of oil listed in the recipe and it was delicious. I acutally poured off some of the oil as the evening went on because the tomatoes and watermelon made it juicy.