Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Jaden is knee deep in paint, tiles and packing boxes today, so she asked us to step in and tell you guys about this amazing tomato and watermelon salad. Today, we are introducing Zov Karamardian from the internationally acclaimed restaurant Zov’s. Jaden had the chance to meet Zov at IACP a couple of weeks ago and we could not be happier to share her recipe for this incredible salad. {Isn’t it just beautiful and the perfect side for your next BBQ?} The recipe comes straight from her newest cookbook, Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist.

Founded in 1987 by Chef Zov Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro & Bakery in Tustin, CA has become a culinary institution. Her cuisine blends contemporary with Eastern Mediterranean, a blend that is clear when flipping through her new cookbook, Simply Zov. Her approach is fresh and comes across easy, in a way that makes us feel we create her dishes just as she would in her restaurants. A few Adam and I have earmarked are her Parmesan Bruschetta, Tomato-Basil Risotto Fritters and of course that cover shot, a Greek Burger with Baby Arugula and Feta.

– Adam and Joanne

Photo and recipe from the Simply Zov: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist Cookbook


Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese

Servings: serves 6 as a side Prep Time: 15 Cook Time:

You will be surprised at how well watermelon and feta work together. Salty, sweet and refreshing, every bite bursts with flavor. This salad is truly a keeper, and an inventive way to make the most of summer produce. I love using heirloom tomatoes when I can find them. Serve with grilled fish or grilled steak.

Recipe from Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist by Zov Karamardian


Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small cucumber, peeled
1/2 small red onion
3 heirloom tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cut into bite-size chunks
3 1/2 cups peeled seeded bite-size watermelon chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size chunks
7 ounces French feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced


MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk the vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well. Set aside.

MAKE THE SALAD: Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves crosswise into thin half-moon slices. Using a mandoline, cut the onion into 1-inch-long paper-thin slices. Toss the sliced cucumber, onion, tomatoes, watermelon, bell pepper, cheese and mint in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Serve immediately.

Do-Ahead Tip: The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 week ahead. Store it in a tightly-sealed jar and refrigerate. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature until the olive oil liquefies, about 20 minutes, before shaking to blend.

Cooks Note: Feta is traditionally a Greek sheep’s milk cheese, but I prefer the French variety for its mid and creamy taste. Always store tomatoes at room temperature; place them in a decorative basket in your kitchen. Refrigeration can make them pulpy and dull their flavor. Do not cut or slice the tomatoes too far ahead of time or they will oxidize and turn acidic.

More Refreshing Salad Recipes

Summer Tomato Salad by David Lebovitz

Watermelon Salad with Feta or Cotija by Simply Recipes

Young Coconut Salad Recipe by Herbivoracious

Watermelon Salad with Feta, Mint and Lime by Whipped

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Comments 27

  1. Mary at Deep South Dish

    I keep telling myself I’m gonna make a watermelon salad, and then I eat all the watermelon!!! Well… it IS hot as heck down here isn’t it? 😉 The salad sounds wonderful.

    Congrats again on the new dwelling – try not to work too hard though!

  2. Rich

    This sounds great!
    I was just a a tea tasting at coffee bean and tea leaf and they paired tomatoes with one of their teas, it’s amazing how tomatoes can change the flavor. I’m going to try this out this weekend after a trip to the farmer’s market. Thanks!

  3. Kim in MD

    I have always wanted to try a watermelon salad and for some reason haven’t yet. This looks like the perfect recipe to try! Thanks for sharing!

    Jaden- Come back soon, but I am so happy for you and your family! Your new farm looks amazing!

  4. Deanna

    I live near Zov’s and I will say from first hand experience, make the potato cakes. I think they are in the breakfast section of the cookbook, and oh my God are they good. I made them for Mother’s Day as the base for smoked salmon benedicts. Zov really needs to put out a dessert cookbook, because the desserts at her restaurants are the real reason for going.

  5. Jim

    This looks delicious!
    One question, can we use Greek feta? I don’t really know the difference between Greek and French feta.

  6. Vivian

    This tomato & watermelon salad was a huge hit at my 4th of July BBQ. I will definitely make this one of my “must make” recipes during the summer months.

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  15. George Katkic

    I will be making this for sure; love everything in it. However, when it comes to really good, soft, creamy, delicious feta, the best is Bulgarian! Even the Greeks prefer it. The brand I use is Vigo. The container looks Greek because of the blue brick brack at the top of the container but if you look at the back, it says product of Bulgaria. It is sitting in the brine so be careful when you open it….

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  17. lanabelislepantele

    The Recipe sounds great, but please” french Feta”, Please. It might be called white cheese. And as for the “Bulgariain feta” everyone know that feta is a firm white cheese and NOT soft. There is only one kind of FETA and that is GREEK. The rest are a form of white cheese.And NO , the Greeks do not prefer Bulgarian cheese!!!!!!!

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