Say hello to the most flavorful summer salad ever. This watermelon salad stands out from all other watermelon salads — and the secret is warm ingredients. Adding one or two warm ingredients to a cold dish is a great way to mix things up and add dimension to your summer salad. This salad has a base of fresh greens, tangy kalamata olives and red onions, crunchy sprouts, and juicy watermelon. Then, you add the fried tofu and padrón peppers and toss everything in a refreshing basil-lime dressing.
Watermelon Salad with Fried Tofu and Basil-Lime Dressing [Vegan]
For the Salad:
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 8 ounces padrón peppers
- 2 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon
- 8 ounces arugula
- 1 cucumber, cut into thick slices and halved or quartered
- 4 ounces sunflower sprouts
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- Oil, for frying
- Himalayan pink salt, to taste
For the Basil-Lime Dressing:
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime, approximately 3 tablespoons
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a small food processor, use a wand/immersion blender, and mix to a smooth liquid.
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry the cubed tofu until they get some color. Remove from the pan. Add some more oil, and fry the peppers until the skin is brown and blistered; remove from heat, and sprinkle with salt.
- Cut the watermelon into thick slices, remove the rind and cut into cubes or triangles.
- Add all the cold salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Top with the tofu and peppers and serve together with the basil-lime dressing.