Nothing says summer like watermelon. Except for tomatoes.
This salad is a bit different – a sweet, savory, crisp and refreshing one for sure. It’s everything a summer salad should be – fast and easy to prepare without using the stove, and everything you need in a meal on a hot night.
I was tempted to call this a watermelon “power salad” because it’s full of good-for-you vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and a bit of healthy fats, too. Both tomatoes and watermelon are full of lycopene and other antioxidants as well as potassium and Vitamin A. Watermelon is also full of natural electrolytes which make it a great food for hot summer days. And of course, tofu is full of healthy proteins and isoflavones.
But it’s also kind of a surprising salad – as a kid, I would have been offended that watermelon “needed” something to make it great, but this is a great recipe for people who want to make a full meal of it. I remember when my mom wanted to make a feta, lime and watermelon salad and I was horrified that she was going to ruin a whole watermelon to make it. This is kind of a similar salad – a sweet, salty blend of textures and subtle flavors that end up making you reaffirm your love of watermelon and its versatility as a sweet and savory ingredient.
Make sure you use extra firm tofu here – I like Trader Joe’s High Protein Super Firm Tofu or Wildwood’s SprouTofu or Super Firm Tofu – to get the chewy, dense texture that is a such a great foil to the crunchy, juicy watermelon and tender tomato. And don’t worry, the tofu won’t taste “uncooked” – just mix it with some high-quality olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and it will taste amazing.
To pull everything together, garnish with a blend of fresh basil and mint leaves, fresh lime or lemon juice, and crunchy pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) or pistachios.
- 3 cups watermelon, 1/2-inch dice
- 8 oz. extra firm tofu, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon high-quality olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, separated
- 1 medium heirloom tomato, 1/2-inch dice
- freshly ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lime or lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pepitas or pistachios
- 1/4 cup chopped or torn basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- In a large bowl, toss the diced watermelon and tomato with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, lime or lemon juice and zest, and half of the chopped herbs.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the diced tofu with the olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and mix well.
- Spoon tofu mixture on top of the watermelon, garnish with remaining herbs and pepitas and serve immediately.