A healthy summer salad recipe, featuring watermelon, strawberries, and avocados, and topped with fresh mint and a sherry-orange vinaigrette.
Over the summer, a few friends and I decided to put our kiddos in group swim lessons. We would show up at the pool, let the littles do their thing, and afterward, all sit down for a nice lunch together. And, when I say nice, I actually mean somewhat frustrating. Cause, like, have you ever tried to have a meal with only three grown-ups amongst seven young children, seven years and younger? It’s barrage of interruptions, followed by breakdown after breakdown in regards to whichever plate sat before them and a lack-there-of of ketchup. Oy.
Yes, lunch with littles can be a chore. However, the stolen bits of conversation shared with a couple of besties on those hot summer days, far outweighed any pool-day table-tantrum. What can I say? I love me some girl talk. Before the lessons even began, one of the gal-pals prepped me on the salad at hand. She’d had it once before at the poolside lunch spot and just couldn’t manage to get enough of it.
In her description of the dish, I have to say, I was weary. You see, she was very pregnant at the time, and I couldn’t help myself from chalking her adoration toward the salad up to one of those crazy pregnancy-type cravings. However, it only took one pool-side lunch featuring this summer salad to make a believer out of this gal.
The sweet, juicy watermelon against the natural tartness of the strawberries was a beautiful balance, and the creamy avocado served as a lovely contrast in texture and added body to the dish. Then the mint. Oh, man. Do not skimp out on the mint. Somehow, that refreshing, vibrant little herb brings the whole thing together.
But, that’s not all: The orange-sherry vinaigrette just might be the icing on the cake. It’s altogether addictively good, to preggos and non-preggos alike. Now, the original salad called for additional ingredients like chilled shrimp and halved grape tomatoes.
To simplify things and make this a quick and easy summer salad recipe one could throw together in a jiff, I cut those ingredients from this rendition. However, if you want to take the time to make it extra fancy and even more-so of a substantial salad, simply cook up some shrimp (click here for TAK’s Easy Roasted Shrimp recipe), allow them to chill in the refrigerator and add ’em in when you’re tossing together the rest of your ingredients.
This salad is sweet, refreshing and vibrant. It’s great for a quick-fix lunch on a hot day, summer brunches and absolute perfection for your next poolside gathering. Fill up a bowl, get down on some girl-talk and enjoy.
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- Scant pinch of Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup Canola oil
- 2 cold avocados cubed
- Juice of 1 lime
- 8 cups cold cubed watermelon
- 3 cups hulled and halved cold strawberries
- 1/4 cup julienned or finely chopped mint, plus extra for garnish
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- To make the dressing, add the orange juice, sherry vinegar, salt and cayenne to a bowl or measuring pitcher. Slowly, drizzle in the Canola oil, while whisking thoroughly. Continue whisking until emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.
For the salad, add the avocado to a large bowl, drizzle with lime juice, and gently toss to combine. Add in the watermelon, strawberries and mint. Add desired amount of dressing, sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and gently toss to combine once more. Garnish (if desired), serve right away and enjoy.
Serve “Watermelon, Strawberry & Avocado Salad with Mint and an Orange-Sherry Vinaigrette” with: