I am so excited to share this recipe. I have been making it for a few years now, and it’s always a big hit in my home. As you can guess from the completely uncreative name, there are only three ingredients in this salad: watermelon, mango, and watercress. However, I do make my own dressing for it, a cilantro vinaigrette, which really brings the dish together, balancing the pepperiness of the watercress and the sweetness of the fruit, and adding just the right touch of acid.
This is one of my favorite salads to make. I love it. Stan loves it. My parents love it. But for some reason, I hesitated to serve it to guests at dinner parties because I thought the watercress may be off-putting for some. It does have a very assertive, peppery flavor.
I decided to try it out at Maddie’s first birthday celebration. It was a pool party on a hot day, and this salad seemed perfect. The mango and watermelon are cool and refreshing. The cilantro dressing is light and fresh. And the watercress is nice and spicy.
It was a hit! It held up well outside, and I got many compliments and recipe requests.
Baby Led Weaning Note: every recipe I include on my blog, and everything I cook, is served to Maddie. She eats everything we eat. Because of the watercress, this salad is not something I make with the intention of her eating a lot, but she does like the watermelon and mango as you can see:
- Watermelon, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Mango, chopped into equal, bite-size pieces
- Watercress, large stems removed (arugula works too)
As far as quantities for this salad, you can make it as small or big as you’d like. I like it to be equal parts of watermelon and mango, and a healthy serving of watercress. Toss the three ingredients together in a large bowl with this dressing:
- 1 bunch cilantro (about 2.5 oz)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons – zest and juice
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper
To make the dressing, blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add just enough to coat your salad, but don’t goop it up. There will probably be leftover, which can be served with all kinds of things besides salad. Here are just a few ideas: add it to Cuban black beans, serve it on grilled chicken or grilled steak, or add it to salsa.
Toss it all together, and voila!
If you are making the salad ahead of time, or if you’re bringing it to an event, you can put the dressing in your bowl, put the watermelon, mango, and watercress on top, and toss it all together just before serving. That way it won’t get soggy. Or, better yet, bring the dressing in a mason jar, and toss it when you get there.
From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this fresh, delicious, summery salad! Please let me know how it goes if you do! And if you really love it, please share it. Pin it, Tweet it, Instagram it, or whatever else there is nowadays. I really really appreciate it!
P.S. If you’re looking for another fun summer salad, try this Grilled Summer Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad!