This is a bright and light summer watermelon, strawberry and tomatillo salad. It’s the perfect mélange of sweetness and tartness that will fuel your body full of vitamin C! Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to make!
Watermelon, Strawberry and Tomatillo Salad (Vegan)
When I think about summer salads I see vibrant colors and fruits dressed in a simple vinaigrette.
This watermelon, strawberry and tomatillo salad was a happy accident I created when I had leftover watermelon and didn’t know what to do with it.
I was craving something tart and sweet and super refreshing. As I was browsing the vegetable aisle at the grocery store I saw bright green tomatillos and thought it might pair well with watermelon, so I grabbed a couple and walked over to the fruit section. I felt like it needed something else, something sweeter than watermelon to make the flavors bounce.
That’s when I saw big and beautiful strawberries, freshly picked from a farm in upstate New York. That’s when I knew I was about to make something seriously yummy.
And I was right. I fell in love with the fruit salad as soon as I was done chopping and tossing the ingredients!
This watermelon, strawberry and tomatillo salad has everything – it’s sweet, tangy and tart and feels so crisp and cleansing. I’m telling you, if you are looking for a bright, feel good salad this weekend, this is the salad for you!
What better than to serve a watermelon based salad to replenish your fluids when the weather is warm.
This summer salad with strawberries is the perfect side dish to serve at a barbecue to offset the heaviness of grilled meats. It’s vegan as well so it’s a good option to put on the table for guests like me, who don’t eat meat or chicken.
What I like best about this salad is that it’s quite unique in flavor. Every time I make it people love it and are wowed by how beautiful it looks. Usually a salad with watermelon means it comes with feta cheese and mint with a balsamic reduction, so it’s fun to offer something with a twist for a change!
For this salad to shine, pick the best ingredients you can.
- The sweeter the strawberries the better.
- The sweeter the watermelon the better.
- Tart tomatillos are a must. Do not substitute them for regular tomatoes.
- Soak the chopped shallot in water for 10-15 minutes to remove some of the bitterness.
The tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes) add tartness which balances the sweetness of the watermelon and strawberries to perfection.
How To Pick Ripe Tomatillos
Picking ripe tomatillos isn’t that hard but there is one essential step you should not skip.
Open up the husk!
I’ve made the mistake of not fully opening them and ended up with rotten tomatillos. So trust me on this, peel off the husk and look for firm and bright green tomatillos. If they are shriveled up or blemished, don’t get them.
How To Pick Ripe Strawberries
The best way to pick ripe strawberries is by doing a smell test. Go for the ones that smell sweet and fruity.
Always use your nose when picking fruits and vegetables, I’m always surprised at how few people use their nose as part of the selection process at the grocery store.
You also want to look for strawberries that are red all over, although this isn’t always the best way to tell if they will taste good. I’ve had bright red strawberries that were dry and tasteless as well as light orange ones that were scrumptious. But more often than not, a strawberry that’s red through and through will taste good.
Shape isn’t a predictor of how good a strawberry will be either so you don’t have to pay attention to that.
The verdict: use your nose for picking good strawberries.
How To Pick Ripe watermelon
For watermelon, you want to use your arms because it’s all about the weight. It should feel heavy for its size.
Once you’ve found a heavy watermelon, look for a yellow patch. That’s a sign of ripeness. Finally, look for the underbelly of the watermelon and give it a thump. If you hear a deep hollow sound it means it’s ripe.
Simple summer salad dressing
If you read my blog regularly you know that I hate store bought dressings. That’s because they are loaded with sugar, fat and chemicals and honestly, I don’t even like the way they taste.
You can make easy and healthy dressings in less than a minute at home that will cost you a fraction of what you get at the store. And let’s face it – how many times have you thrown out salad dressing that had expired? The truth is most of us don’t use dressings and vinaigrettes often enough to go through an entire bottle.
So it’s best to make them as you go.
Buy a cheap salad dressing shaker – the one in the image above is by OXO and only cost me $13 – this way you can make some extra and save some for later. It’s also less messy because there’s no whisking involved. The one I have is watertight which means I can shake it hard and nothing will spill out.
For this summer salad I’ve kept it very simple – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
When a salad is already packed with flavor the way this one is, you want to dress it with something light so its only purpose is to enhance those natural flavors.
What To Serve With This Strawberry, Watermelon And Tomatillo Salad
This salad is best served fresh but you can keep in the fridge for up to two days. You can slice the fruits ahead of time and wait until before serving to add the dressing.
Other yummy and healthy side dishes:
- Soy and sesame edamame
- Spaghetti squash with mushrooms and parmesan
- Thai peanut sauce (with chicken skewers)
- Kung pao cauliflower
- Spicy tuna roll
Did you like this Watermelon, Strawberry and Tomatillo Salad Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
These recipes constantly make “best dish” lists on sites such as Country Living, Self, Shape, Bon Appetit, The Cooking Channel, Men’s Fitness and Woman’s Day. They are favorites among my readers, friends and family!
Simple and easy dishes made healthier, with calories and fat content provided. Tried and tested by my readers and loved by everyone!