Those of you who are familiar with Mark Bittman’s recipes in The New York Times know that he likes to take the mystery out of good food. His recipes are rarely complicated and always delicious. Hence, given my adoration of watermelon, I had to make his Watermelon and Tomato Salad which, indeed, delivered a wonderful taste-and-texture mixture: watermelon sweetness plus the tart tomatoes and savoury cheese, all tied together by a vinaigrette dressing. (I’ve added Mark Bittman’s video on making this salad at the end of the post.)
Of course, I had to start adapting the recipe immediately because his cheese suggestions—Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Maytag blue cheese—don’t work for for anyone who is lactose-intolerant. I used goat feta instead. My second adaption was to cut back on the oil to reduce calories. Finally, on my third making of this salad, I decided to cut back on the cheese and add cooked quinoa. I wanted to give the salad more “heft” so that it could be a meal unto itself as opposed to an accompanying salad. It was still delicious although, if you can afford the extra calories (or the 3 extra WW points), I’d keep the cheese at the 2.6 oz. level. There’s nothing like cheese to take a dish from delicious to sublime.
Makes 2 servings
- 2½ cups watermelon in 1″ cubes or balls (cut over a bowl so that you can catch the juice and reserve it)
- 1½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1.3 oz. goat feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup green onions, finely minced
- ½ cup cooked, cold quinoa
- 1 tbsp. of watermelon juice
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp. vinegar (Mark Bittman suggests sherry; I had balsamic)
- ½ cup cilantro or parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Combine watermelon, tomato, cheese, green onions, and quinoa in a bowl.
- Whisk together watermelon juice, oil, and vinegar.
- Pour vinagrette over salad mixture.
- Garnish with coriander or parsley.
- Salt to taste.
For Weight Watchers: 5.5 points per serving on the Points plan and 4.5 points on the PointsPlus plan. (This is cheaper on PointsPlus because the watermelon has no point value.)