A refreshing watermelon and tomato salad, quick to prepare ahead and easy to assemble. This colourful summer salad tossed in a zesty sumac dressing with goats cheese, prosciutto and olives makes a perfect side dish or light meal.
It's almost summer here in Australia and we are getting ready for BBQ season. As most of you by now must know, I love creating salads that not only work as light lunches but as side salads too!
This watermelon and tomato salad is refreshed with a simple sumac dressing, mint leaves, lettuce and garnished with goats cheese, prosciutto and kalamata olives.
Soooo... refreshing, ok! enough teasing! I know most of you just want the recipe, so let's get to it.
What you need
All ingredients listed below taste best when they are in season. Good news is, they are in season at the same time; spring to summer:
Watermelon to pick a good watermelon is not always easy. Choose one with a deep green rind that is firm and doesn't give in when pressed.
Tomatoes are at their peak during the warm summer months. I like to use a mix of truss tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, sometimes heirloom tomatoes too.
Lettuce and mint to add freshness to the salad. I used oak leaf lettuce but you can substitute with your favourite salad type.
Sumac dressing we love the sumac dressing so much that we have dedicated a seperate recipe for this dressing.
Goats cheese for salads, I like to use a creamy goats cheese. The marinated goats cheese from meredith dairy is my preferred choice.
Prosciutto cured makes this a more substantial salad. Feel free to leave the prosciutto out for a vegetarian version.
Olives to make the salad complete. I use pitted kalamata olives.
How to make it
This salad can be prepared ahead of time, just store all ingredients separately. For best results, mix the salad 10 minutes before serving it!
You will find that once the watermelon cubes, tomatoes and sumac dressing have been combined, the salad leaves water. To avoid having too much liquid in your salad, strain half the amount into a seperate bowl and keep aside for other uses, like a new salad dressing!
The juices from the perfectly ripe watermelon and tomatoes, is so delicious, it could practically be served as a course on it's own!! Not joking, chefs actually do that😉
preparing the salad
To make the salad, cut the larger tomatoes first in half and then into larger chunks. Then cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place all in a mixing bowl.
Next, cut the watermelon in half and then peel the skin by slicing down the sides with a chef's knife. Cut into larger cubes and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Now let's prepare the lettuce. Wash it and cut into wedges with leaves attached to the stalk and set aside (but if you prefer, you can just add leaves to the salad).
Pick the mint leaves from the stem. Cut the mint leaves in half. Keep in mind you want chunky leaves rather than fine slices.
To make the sumac dressing, just follow instructions in the recipe below or follow our detailed recipe here.
Plating up the salad
Now that you’ve created the perfect salad, let’s show you how you can present it beautifully.
First, season the watermelon and tomatoes with salt and pepper then add the mint leaves. Next, add 4 tablespoons of the sumac dressing to the bowl and mix it all well.
To serve this salad, use a plate or a shallow wide bowl. Start by placing the salad wedges at the bottom of your chosen plate or bowl. Then, arrange the mixed watermelon and tomato salad around and over the salad leaves.
Place three half slices of prosciutto in a triangle on top of the salad and crumble the goats cheese.
Finally, add the olives, drizzle some sumac dressing and...
Serve straight away!
That's a valid question and yes absolutely! The saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the watermelon work in harmony, it is a combination I really recommend.
The salad can be made with just olive oil and lemon juice. Some dressings that would work well are balsamic dressing, a vinaigrette with raspberry vinegar or a creamy mustard dressing.
Yes it can. Leave out the goats cheese and prosciutto and add falafels and vegan parmesan cheese instead.
How to use this salad
This tomato watermelon salad is my definition of a perfect summer lunch. Add a crusty sourdough baguette and we have a delicious light lunch or dinner.
And, If used as a side salad, I would serve it along more hearty or Mediterranean dishes like these below:
- gigot lamb chops with roasted cauliflower
- a traditional flammkuchen
- garlic roasted prawns with fregola
- zucchini and pea fritters
- casarecce pasta with asparagus and kale
- whole baked barramundi with sauce vierge
Now, should you make this salad, we'd love to know how it turned out. And, heading into summer, if you're looking for more salad recipe inspiration, then head to our salad recipes section .
We have a variety of fresh salads, packed with delicious flavours and plenty of texture, with meat, seafood, veggie and vegan options to choose from!
Tomato Watermelon Salad with Goats Cheese
- salad bowl
- 600 gram watermelon
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 2 small salad heads
- 1 handful mint, picked
- 120 gram goats cheese
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 40 gram olives, pitted
- 85 millilitre sumac dressing
for the sumac dressing
- 1 tablespoon sumac powder
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper
- 300 millitres olive oil
to prep ahead
- Cut the larger tomatoes in half and then into larger chunks. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
- Cut the watermelon in half and then peel the skin by slicing down the sides with a chef knife. Cut into larger cubes and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
- Wash the salad and cut into wedges leaving the leaves attached to the stalk, set aside.
- Pick the mint leaves from the stem. Cut the mint leaves in half.
to make the sumac dressing
- In a bowl combine the sumac powder, dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while combining, with a whisk.
for plating up
- Season the watermelon and tomatoes in the bowl with salt and pepper then add the mint leaves. Add 4 tablespoons of the sumac dressing next and mix it all well.
- Start by placing the salad wedges at the bottom of a plate or bowl. Arrange the mixed watermelon and tomato salad around and over the salad leaves.
- Place three half slices of prosciutto in a triangle on top of the salad. Crumb the goats cheese over the salad and finally the olives.
- Add a drizzle of sumac dressing and serve straight away.