Simple and refreshing, we love the summer day when this salad makes its annual debut on our menu. It’s sweet and spicy, a little savory, and has the right tang and fresh, herby flavor, making it great on its own or as a side dish to any summery protein. Could you add a couple of other ingredients to the salad? Sure. Does it need it? Absolutely not.
2 to 3 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cup)
1 cup small fresh Thai basil leaves (leave whole)
3 large pinches of ground dried Thai bird’s eye chile or cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Set the watermelon on a cutting board and slice off the ends to expose the pink fruit. Stand the watermelon upright and slice off the rind from top to bottom, following the curve of the melon to stay as close to the pink fruit as possible. Chop the melon into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl (you should have about 8 cups).
Add the tomatoes, basil, chile, oil, vinegar, and salt and use your hands to gently toss the salad to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes, then serve.