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Summer Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Combining tomatoes and watermelon seems to be all the rage today.  Typically such recipes call for adding feta cheese too, but I skip that because I think the feta makes the salad look messy. 

Did you know we can thank the Aztecs for the tomato?  ‘Tis true!  The Italians only got their hands on the tomato in the 1500s.  It’s also true that Europeans and later North Americans believed the tomato poisonous.   In 1820, Robert Gibbon Johnson stood on the steps of a New Jersey courthouse and ate a tomato to prove they were harmless.  Today we know that tomatoes and watermelons are a rich source of lycopene, a red pigment that is a powerful antioxidant.  Lycopene is said to neutralize chemicals that cause oxidative damage and loss of proper cell function, and protects the prostate.

What about cukes, you ask?  An on-line site called Thrifty Fun says,Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours…. Cucumbers were often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals.” 

Serves 4-6                                                     

3-4 medium heirloom tomatoes

¼ tsp coriander

1 smallish European cuke, or 2-3 pickling cukes, diced, about 2-3 C

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

    2 C yellow or red watermelon, ¾-inch cubes   (most people prefer seedless)

3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar

1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled,    ¾-inch cubes

     1 tsp good salt

 

1 tsp black pepper or grains of paradise

 

1 Tbsp capers, optional

   
 

Cut tomatoes into bite-sized wedges or pieces.  Place in a large mixing or salad bowl.  Add cukes, watermelon cubes, avocado, and dressing ingredients.  Toss gently so everything is well-coated.  Cover and chill for an hour. Taste, adjust seasoning.  Serve. 

Yes, you can add feta cheese if you like. 

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