In summer we eat salads almost every day, but it can be pretty easy to get bored of all the usual ingredients such as cos, rocket, avocado, tomato, capsicum…
So to keep things interesting I try and mix things up by picking something a little more unusual like mango, watermelon or lemon, and then varying the way I serve it, e.g. raw, grilled or roasted.
One of my favourite combinations to date is this grilled lemon and watermelon herb salad.
I cut the lemon into slices and then gently grill it, which gives it a slight caramelised flavour and makes them a lot more edible.
Instead of lettuce or spinach leaves I use large leaf herbs such as basil, mint and parsley, which give this salad a beautiful fragrance and herbaceous flavour.
Watermelon and radish add a touch of pink, along with contrasting textures and flavours, and last but not least, heirloom cherry tomatoes go beautifully with all of the above and give the salad some juicy body.
I’ve now taken to growing my own herbs and heirloom cherry tomatoes so that I know they’re organic/spray free. But if that’s not an option for you, fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes are easy enough to find in most supermarkets these days, just be sure to wash them well!
If you want to keep the effort to a minimum for this salad you can simply dress this salad with olive, avocado or hemp oil, with a drizzle of lemon. Otherwise, I’ve included a quick lemon vinaigrette that you can whizz up in seconds in a blender, or simply shake in a jar if you can’t be bothered washing your blender!
I hope this vibrant salad has given you some fresh inspiration, and of course feel free to adapt it to whatever ingredients you have to hand.
GRILLED LEMON & WATERMELON HERB SALAD
Makes: 1 medium salad/Serves 2
Prep time: 30 minutes
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes (look for heirloom for the different colours)
2 handfuls fresh basil
2 handfuls fresh mint
2 handfuls fresh parsley
4 pink radish
salt + pepper to season
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
pinch Himalayan pink salt
ground black pepper to taste
To make the dressing combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. Alternatively, place ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC grill. Cut the lemon into 5mm thick slices, place on a lined oven tray and put under the grill for approximately 10 to 20 minutes, or until the slices start to caramelise and turn a little golden round the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile prepare the salad ingredients. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into bite sized cubes. Wash the tomatoes and slice in half. Wash and slice the radishes. Wash the herbs and tear the leaves off the stems – try and keep the leaves whole to avoid the torn edges browning.
To assemble the salad toss all the salad ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle over the lemon dressing and season with salt & pepper as desired.
I also like to finish off my salads with some edible flowers if I have them. I used basil flowers in these photos but any edible flowers would work well.