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Watermelon-Berry Salad With Chile Dressing and Lots of Herbs

Watermelon salad with blueberries strawberries and a shallotherb dressing.
Photo by Eva Kosmas Flores

A thrilling way to treat high-summer fruit, this gorgeous jumble of flavors and textures is explosively good. The Thai-inspired, blend-and-go dressing—tart and spicy and salty—plays up the sweetness of watermelon and berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and hulled and halved strawberries, while keeping the fruit salad firmly in savory territory. A flurry of herbs adds even more freshness and dimension.


Serves 6 to 8

For the dressing:
⅓ cup lime juice (from about 3 juicy limes)
⅓ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons thinly sliced cilantro stems
3 tablespoons finely chopped palm sugar or coconut sugar
½-inch knob fresh galangal, peeled and roughly sliced against the grain
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 small moderately hot fresh red chile, such as Fresno or ripe red jalapeño, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 fresh red Thai chile, stemmed
For the salad:
2 pounds peeled watermelon
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
6 cups mixed berries, halved if large
2 large lemongrass stalks trimmed, bruised, then very thinly sliced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 big handfuls very lightly packed mixed herbs, such as mint leaves, Thai or Italian basil leaves, and small cilantro sprigs

Make the dressing:

Step 1

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. It keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Shake well before using.

Make the salad:

Step 2

Cut the watermelon into 3 x 1 x 1-inch sticks, flicking out seeds as you go. You will have about 6 cups. Chill the watermelon in the fridge for at least an hour.

Step 3

Combine the chilled watermelon and onion in a large mixing bowl and season all over with the flaky salt. Add the berries, lemongrass, and dressing, then toss gently but well. Drizzle on the olive oil, add the herbs, and gently toss once more. Transfer to a platter to serve.

Everyone's Table Cookbook Cover by Gregory Gourdet
From Everyone's Table © 2021 by Gregory Gourdet. Reprinted with permission by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Buy the full book from HarperCollins, Amazon, or Bookshop.

How would you rate Watermelon-Berry Salad With Chile Dressing and Lots of Herbs?

  • I love savory/sweet watermelon salads and this one is really delivers. After reading the recipe, you might be thinking to yourself, this is a concerning amount of fish sauce for an fruit salad but, you would be wrong! The salad has a great combo of spicy, sweet, savory and herbs that is a delight on a hot summer night. (I added ~1.5 cups of chopped pistachios to it for some crunch and to make it more filling but it is a perfect recipe as written)

    • jacki.rorabaugh4663

    • Denver, CO

    • 7/20/2021