Who said fruit salad can’t be savory? Summer means a plethora of delicious, seasonal fruit, and one great way to balance all of that natural sugar is with a savory summer salad featuring watermelon and avocado. A little lime juice brightens up the flavors, while a sprinkle of Tajín seasoning adds a little heat. Pepitas add some crunch and texture and cotija cheese gives the salad a salty, savory edge. The result? A salad that hits all the right notes: savory, sweet, and crunchy. It’s a perfectly refreshing snack or side dish for a summer pool party or family barbecue.
Since the bulk of this salad is fresh fruit, knowing how to pick ripe fruit is essential. For watermelon, you want to choose one that sounds hollow when it is tapped, feels heavy, and has a yellow field spot (where it rested on the ground). If the spot is white, it’s not ripe. For avocados, gently press your thumb into an avocado’s skin. If it yields slightly, it’s perfectly ripe. If it makes a large indentation, it might be too ripe.
If all you can find are hard avocados (which are unripe), store them for a few days in a paper bag with a banana to help it ripen faster. Once ripe, you’ll want to slice the avocado in half by running a knife around the outside of the avocado (the pit in the center will tell you when you’ve inserted it far enough). Use a spoon to remove the pit, then make vertical and horizontal cuts in the avocado, taking care not to slice through the skin. A spoon helps you pop out the pieces of avo, and then you’re ready to go!
The Tajín is optional, and the watermelon can easily be replaced with another type of melon (cantaloupe or honeydew would also be tasty). If you don’t have Tajín on hand, you can sprinkle a little coarse sea salt and your favorite chile powder.
Watermelon Avocado Salad (Serves 4-6)