Savory Watermelon Basil Salad

What’s Inside: Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan.

I wasn’t going to try it.

It sounded, frankly, like a horrible combination.

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + VeganFresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

Olives, oil, red onions and feta mixed with large watermelon cubes sat amongst the other pot luck items on the block party’s donated folding card table. It was basically a Greek pasta salad… but with a bunch of watermelon and no pasta.

I can’t remember who dared me to taste it, it could have been myself.

I took a small spoonful, fully anticipating the clenched jaw and gag reflexes to kick in.

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + VeganFresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

Instead…

Juicy watermelon and savory bits of olive and feta danced my mouth into a smile.  I went back for a full serving and then later for seconds.

Compliments to the chef – it was amazing!

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

Traditional pasta salad is always too dry, IMHO. The watermelon changed that without compromising flavor.

Since melons are only mildly sweet, the salty flavors still took center stage.

My mind on savory accouterments on sweet melons changed forever.

I should have known. I love prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe and grilled cantaloupe prosciutto skewers.

Why wouldn’t I love other savory melon combos?

Looking for something a little healthier to spice up your barbecue? Try these grilled cantaloupe prosciutto skewers. Just 2 ingredients and paleo, gf, df.

Savory Watermelon Basil Salad Recipe

This rendition isn’t a full Greek pasta salad. Garden herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and juicy watermelon make this simple and refreshing side dish perfect for a sweltering day.

I grew these herbs from my garden and they made an incredibly fresh accent to the already thirst-quenching watermelon.

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + VeganFresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

The lemon basil adds citrusy complexity. The Shiso deepens the flavor with a tinge of bitterness.

Red Shiso is a new herb to our garden this year, but we’ll be planting it again! It was easy to grow, low maintenance, and lasted all season. If you want to try them, ask your local nursery or buy the Red Shiso Seeds here.

This makes a great side for any summer bar-b-que or block party. And I also loved using my Cuban salad spoons to serve it. 🙂

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + VeganFresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan
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Savory Watermelon Basil Salad

Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, BBQ, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, vegan

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 3 stalks fresh lemon basil (can sub for regular basil and a squeeze of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red shiso herb (can sub for parsley and dash anise)
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 mini watermelon

Instructions

Directions:

  1. Wash and dice basil and shiso leaves.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except the watermelon) together in a salad bowl
    Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan
  3. Cube watermelon and add to the bowl mix
  4. Toss watermelon, coating evenly with herb mixture.
    Fresh garden herbs and juicy watermelon make this savory watermelon basil salad recipe a perfect side dish for hot summer days. Dairy, Grain, Gluten Free + Vegan
  5. Serve and Enjoy

Recipe Notes

Red Shiso can be substituted with parsley and a dash of anise. Lemon Basil can be replaced with regular basil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Any fresh herbs will work well in this salad so feel free to use what you have on hand (cilantro, parsley, mint, you name it).

Ask a question and leave a comment!