Watermelon Salad Thing

This was so obvious!

I was walking by a restaurant (Forno) in my old neighborhood (Wicker Park!) and the server was delivering something to the table that kind of blew my mind. It was a slice of a watermelon, cut into slices like a pizza, and topped with a delicious looking salad mix. What?

Everyone makes watermelon salads, but I had never seen one in this form. To be eaten like a slice of pizza! It was brilliant. And also so obvious that I am still surprised it was the first time I’ve encountered it.

I stopped to look at the menu and saw it was topped with the usual suspects, herbs, onion, cheese, olives. I’ve recreated it here, for you. You should top your watermelon slice with whatever you like. Let’s be honest, the real star here is the presentation.

Watermelon Salad Thing

I used: kalamata olives, red onions (which I sliced thin and rinsed), ricotta salata, fresh basil (torn), and I sprinkled it all with a little vinaigrette made with honey, champagne vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. The original also included some roasted tomatoes. Feta and mint would be nice. Arugula, too.


29 comments to “Watermelon Salad Thing”

  1. My friend makes an awesome watermelon and halloumi salad and this would be a perfect way to present it.

  2. How extraordinarily clever. I absolutely love this.

  3. I love this! It would be so cute for a summer shower,

  4. that is one gorgeous salad.

  5. I’ve never seen this presentation for a watermelon salad – watermelon pizza anyone?

  6. We stumbled upon and ate at Forno by accident when we were in town for Lollapalooza – after failing to get a table at Big Star – this idea is fabulous! Wish I’d seen it then.

  7. get outta here! crazy melon pizza town.

  8. It’s utensil-free salad enjoyment; love it! Can’t wait to try this, I bet if I assembled everything beforehand it would be fun for a picnic.

  9. Yummy! That looks good. I can’t wait to try it.

  10. ex-Montrealer says:

    August 25th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    You’re a busy beaver this week! This is a brilliant idea, as all of your posts are. What about a “sweet” salad, say, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing as a “dessert pizza”? Kinda obvious, but it would make a beautiful fruit salad. I think you’ll have to bring the “fixings” to your next al fresco get-together & assemble right there.

  11. This sounds like a very interesting combination. Personally I am not one for mixing sweet and savory. It took me years to get my head around Yorkshire Pudding with roast beef, having said that, today this combination is one of my all time favorites.

  12. I have a bit of a thing for watermelon with a good, salty cheese. One of my favorites with watermelon is fried halloumi. So, the thought of presenting it in a new way is very exciting. Looks fantastic, and I have to try this with ricotta salata!

  13. Gorgeous! I love watermelon salad things but this is a lovely, simple presentation that I haven’t seen before.

  14. This salad combo appeared this week in the Washington Post, the feta is a great touch. The presentation in Chicago is a clever way to do it! :


  15. What a clever twist on watermelon salad!

  16. Jan Canyon says:

    August 26th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    It sure is “pretty”, but as a good ole southern girl, I’ll take my watermelon straight, thank you!

  17. Looks perfect for a summer barbeque!!

  18. Adding this to my list of appetizers and nibbly things for our upcoming Union Street Cafe staff party. Hope it goes well with sushi! Thanks for this wonderful idea.

  19. Love salads with watermelon and agree that serving it like pizza is just genius in its simplicity! Can’t wait to make this.

  20. The presentation is just stunning! Love it :)

  21. I’ll have to try that… It looks overwhelming…. I really liek your blog.. Best wishes from germany…

  22. This is GORGEOUS!!

  23. Simple at its best. I love how I don’t even have to cut it cubes…just quarters like a pizza. I’ve seen a ton of watermelon feta salads…but never with olives. Good addition! I dig it.

  24. Feta and watermelon is one of my favorite summer treats and this presentation is too pretty not to try. Thanks!

  25. This just looks sublime.

  26. I think it might be fairly easy to translate the website so I HIGHLY recommend you try this watermelon carpaccio recipe by Claude Troisgros – the recipe is in Portuguese since he has a TV show in Brazil, even though he is in fact French:



  27. Easy and fantastic. My favorite combination. Thank you for the Idea !!

  28. I’m fascinated by the simple beauty of this white plate. What is it/where did you get it from? Please share.

  29. Hey Rick,

    I got our plates about 10 years ago at Crate & Barrel. I think they are still available, Longman & Eagle in Chicago uses the same plates (and it just opened in the last couple of years). But I am not sure what they are called.

What do you think?