Summer Melon + Tomato Salad

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Summer Melon + Tomato Salad

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: none

Melon salads are everywhere at this time of the year. For good reason; but the addition of south east Asian ingredients like fish sauce and lime juice make it particularly yummy and fit for a modern palate. This is adapted from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston.


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 shallots (1 coarsely chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bird’s eye chile, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil / or avocado oil
  • 12 ounces watermelon flesh, cut into 2 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch rectangles
  • 1⁄4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup mint leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup torn Thai basil leaves
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Chef Tips

Any kind of basil will work. If you can’t find Thai. And if you needed to omit dairy the tofu would work wonderfully. Goes great with some grilled meats or some really fresh oysters.


Step 1

In a blender, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, chopped shallot, garlic, and bird’s eye chile and process until smooth; with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until completely emulsified. You could also mix this in a bowl if you don’t want to get out your blender.

Step 2

To a large bowl, add the watermelon, feta, tomatoes, and jalapeño; add the dressing, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter, top with sliced shallots, mint, basil, and scallions, and serve at room temperature.