Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil Oil

Photo: Christopher Baker
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 20 mins

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


For the basil oil

  • 2 cups fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 6 cups cold cubed watermelon (from about 4 ½ pounds watermelon), rind removed

  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges

  • 1 Kirby cucumber, cut into ½-inch-thick slices on the bias

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • ½ cup crumbled soft goat cheese (4 ounces)

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  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. 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. 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.

Related Articles