Watermelon Salsa is a perfectly seasonal recipe that combines the refreshing sweetness of watermelon with tangy tomatoes, the mild heat of jalapenos, and the crispness of the cucumber and bell pepper. Tossed with a zesty honey lime vinaigrette, this recipe is a fantastic twist on traditional salsa.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes a little variety is welcomed with even the most beloved recipes.
I absolutely love the dressing in this salsa – honey lime vinaigrette adds a touch of sweetness combined with acidity, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
Let’s dive deep into the historical rabbit hole and explore the story of watermelon:
- Watermelon’s journey began in Africa, where its wild ancestors grew freely, sporting hard, pale green flesh, had an abundance of seeds and were very difficult to open. They weren’t nearly as flavorful as they are now, or as pretty.
- Watermelon then made its way to the Mediterranean region, where people quickly fell head over heels for its refreshing qualities. It became so popular that ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans even placed watermelon seeds in tombs, ensuring they had the delicious fruit in the afterlife.
- Fast forward to the United States, where watermelon found a new home and an adoring fanbase. It became synonymous with picnics, backyard barbecues, and sun-soaked summer days.
Bottom line, watermelon has come a long way. It took generations (5,000 or so years) of breeding and spanning countries and cultures to get the watermelon we have today.
They did the work for us!
I literally had NO idea.
Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout or simply craving a summery bite, this Watermelon Salsa will most certainly impress your taste buds and your friends.
After you make this a few times, you may want to change it up a little. Here are some variations:
- Tropical Salsa: If you love to taste the tropics, consider adding some additional fruits to your watermelon salsa. Dice up some ripe mangoes, pineapples, and/or kiwis to the mix with the watermelon. The combination of sweet and tart flavors will transport you to a sun-soaked beach in no time.
- Spicy Salsa: For those who crave a bit of heat, like yours truly, turn up the spice level by incorporating fiery elements into your salsa. In addition to leaving the jalapeno seeds in this recipe, add a finely chopped habanero pepper or some crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick. You can also experiment with spices like cumin or chili powder to create a smoky undertone.
- Herbaceous Salsa: Take your watermelon salsa to herb-infused heights by incorporating fresh herbs. Chopped mint, basil, or even tarragon can add a vibrant burst of flavor and a different twist. The herbal notes will beautifully complement the sweetness of the watermelon.
- Tangy Balsamic Salsa: If you like a tangy and sophisticated flavor profile, try replacing the honey lime vinaigrette with a balsamic glaze. Drizzle a high-quality balsamic reduction over the watermelon mixture, and let it meld together. The rich, tangy notes of the balsamic will provide a fantastic contrast to the natural sweetness of the melon.
- Mediterranean-Inspired Salsa: Give your watermelon salsa a Mediterranean twist by incorporating crumbled feta cheese, diced cucumbers, and Kalamata olives. Toss them together with the watermelon for a unique fusion of sweet and umami flavors.
With any version, just be sure to taste as you go and adjust according to your preferences – so you don’t end up with a not-so-pleasant surprise.
As usual, if you make the recipe, don’t forget to share and tag me @dixiechikcooks!
Here’s your printable –