2 ratings

Pickled Watermelon Salad Recipe



Chef Robert Trainor serves this summery dish at The Redeye and has kindly adapted it so you can now make it at home.

Why pickled watermelon? Pickling gives it a little more zing that's nicely balanced by the refreshing basil purée.

Click here to see 5 New Ways to Try Watermelon. 


For the pickled watermelon:

  • 5 pounds watermelon
  • 1 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 6 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 6 sprig fresh dill

For the basil purée:

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cup pure olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

For the tomato salad:

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into random large bite-sized pieces
  • 12 squares pickled watermelon
  • 24 baby arugula leaves
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 each lemon, juice only
  • 6 ounce virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh milled black pepper, to taste


For the pickled watermelon:

Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into squares. Combine the vinegar, salt, and water and mix well to dissolve the salt. Place water melon in a jar and pour the liquid over. The watermelon needs to be completely covered. Add the jalapeños and the dill sprigs. Cover tightly and allow to sit out at room temperature for 2 days. Refrigerate after.

For the basil purée:

Pick the leaves off the basil and the parsley. Blanch the leaves in salted water and refresh in an ice water bath. Ring out any excess water and place the herbs in a blended with a tablespoon of crushed iced and the Dijon mustard. Begin to purée the herbs and slowly add the olive oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Keep refrigerated.


For the tomato salad:

Combine the ingredients and season with the sea salt and the fresh milled pepper. Place 1 teaspoon of the basil purée on the bottom of a chilled bowl. Arrange the tomatoes and watermelon salad in a random stack. Finish with more fresh milled pepper.