I’ve cracked the code to the Ultimate Summer Salad!
This watermelon salad concoction is hydrating, cooling, satisfying, detoxifying, and even filling. It’s a great addition to any summertime shindig OR an awesome thing to have in your fridge all week and eat all by yourself. It features watermelon and corn, both summertime favorites, but you might not have ever thought to put them together. Today, we’re putting them together to create a salad sensation beyond your wildest dreams!
Maybe I’m going a little overboard selling this watermelon salad, but I tell you what, it sure is tasty — and nutritious. Here’s the healthy rundown.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
I love to pack in the phytonutrients, and one nutrient that doesn’t get enough attention as a powerful antioxidant is lycopene — lycopene is thought to prevent cataracts and protect against lung, bladder, colon, pancreatic, and reproductive cancers in both men and women. It’s also protective against heart disease. Because I think about these things, I usually think of tomatoes (the richest source of lycopene in our diets) when I think about lycopene, but it turns out that watermelon is also a great source of this beneficial carotenoid.
And what better way to get all of these awesome health benefits than to concoct a delicious watermelon salad?
Watermelon is also super hydrating, containing a good supply of electrolytes (potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium) — perfect for a summer party, especially if dehydrating alcohol is involved in the mix.
Another awesome benefit of watermelon?
Digestive and skin health. If you’ve read any part of this blog at any point, I’ll assume that you know that these are two of my favorite topics. (Find out why these are my pet topics) Watermelon is 92% water, and the bulk of what you feel in your mouth as you chew it up and swallow is fiber. Water + fiber = a happy GI tract and happy bugs living in there too. As if that weren’t enough, watermelon also contains vitamin A (great for your skin and hair) and choline, a powerful nutrient key to reducing chronic inflammation (another pet topic closely related to gut health). Choline also aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.
What Else is in this Summer Salad?
I’m not going to go through every ingredient in this dish, but suffice it to say that I was thinking about two things that start with an “F” when I was putting this thing together. Well, technically, there’s an “F” and a “Ph,” which sounds like an “F,” so just go with it: Flavor and Phytonutrients.
This Watermelon and Corn Salad brings together delicious summer crops and nutrient-dense herbs and seasoners like cilantro and shallots. You get a real bang for your buck with these additions when it comes to packing in the nutrition and the FLAVOR!
Get excited for this tasty treat. Your taste buds will thank you.
Side note: The only reason ice burg lettuce is included in this recipe as a garnish is because it found its way into my fridge without my doing and I needed to use it before it went bad — and it looked really pretty on the plate. I’ve since tried throwing a handful of baby arugula and a few sunflower seeds into this mix, and it was delicious, so feel free to try that out too. The beautiful thing about a salad is that you can experiment pretty wildly and still come out successful. This brings us back to my ever-present theme of “intuitive cooking.”
- 1/4 to 1/2 medium watermelon, cubed
- 2 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
- 2 red shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 head ice burg lettuce (OPTIONAL: great for garnish)
- 3 to 4 tbs minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp REAL salt
- Combine vinegar, salt, and smoked paprika and whisk or stir to fully incorporate
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and pour vinegar mixture over
- Toss thoroughly to incorporate all the flavors
- Line a serving bowl with the ice burg lettuce or create individual plates using the ice burg as a "cup" for the salad.