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Watermelon Steak Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Sangria Vinaigrette

Summer is the perfect season to indulge in vibrant, fresh flavors, and there's no better place to find inspiration than your local farmers market. Bursting with colorful produce and brimming with the season's finest, it's a treasure trove for any food enthusiast.

I wanted to share with you a recipe that you can make with the fresh ingredients you find at one of the local farmer's markets.

Watermelon Steak Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Sangria Vinaigrette!

This salad is a celebration of summer's bounty, combining the crisp sweetness of watermelon, the rich flavors of heirloom tomatoes, and a tangy, fruity sangria vinaigrette that ties everything together. It's the perfect dish for a light lunch, a stunning side at your next BBQ, or a refreshing dinner on a warm evening.

Join me as we dive into this recipe, bringing a bit of farmers' market magic to your kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this salad is simple to prepare and sure to impress. Let's savor the taste of summer together!


For the salad:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds freshly mixed salad greens or microgreens

1 pound heirloom tomatoes of varying sizes and colors, such as Cherokee Purple, Yellow Brandywine, black and yellow cherry tomatoes

1/4 medium seedless watermelon (5 to 10 pounds)

Olive oil for brushing

For the vinaigrette:

1 cup traditional red sangria, either homemade or store-bought

1/2 cup olive oil

Freshly cracked black pepper

Sea salt


  1. Prepare your grill for medium-high direct heat, 375 F to 450 F.

  2. While the grill comes up to temperature, wash and dry the salad greens, then divide the greens among four to six serving plates. Wash and dry your tomatoes. Slice the whole tomatoes into ½-inch rounds and halve the cherry tomatoes. Divide and arrange the tomato slices evenly among the plates. Set the plates in the refrigerator to chill while you finish the dish.

  3. Slice the watermelon into ¾-to-1-inch-thick “steaks,” then quarter the steaks into wedges. Brush each side of the watermelon with a little olive oil, then set the wedges on the grill for approximately 3 minutes per side, until you get grill marks. The longer you leave the wedges on, the sweeter they’ll get. Remove the watermelon from the grill and arrange evenly among the salad plates.

  4. Pour the sangria into a large measuring cup with a pouring spout, then whisk the olive oil into the sangria until it makes a nice, loose vinaigrette. Generously dress the salads. Sprinkle the salads with pepper and salt to your liking, then serve.

Excerpted from “Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer.” Copyright © 2021 CheFarmer Matthew Raiford and Amy Paige Condon. Photography © 2021 by Siobhán Egan. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved.

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