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Grilled Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Four 3/4 inch inch thick slices of seedless watermelon, as needed
4 ripe heirloom tomatoes, mixed colors, cut into batons with an apple corer, or sliced into wedges
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
8 small leaves fresh opal basil
8 small leaves of fresh green basil
Maldon sea salt, for garnish


Prepare a charcoal grill outdoors for direct grilling over high heat. Or, indoors, place a grill pan over high heat until very hot. Using a 3 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut the watermelon flesh into four rounds. Place on the grill grates or in grill pan, directly over the heat. Grill on one side only, until grill-marked, and the melon emits a slightly smoky aroma, about 2 minutes. Transfer rounds, grill-marked sides up, to a platter. Place the tomato batons or wedges in a large bowl and toss gently with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Place a watermelon round, grill-marked side up, in the center of each of four appetizer plates. Top each with an equal portion of tomatoes. Drizzle each salad with 1/2 tablespoon of remaining olive oil, and top each with 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Garnish with opal basil and green basil and a few grains of Maldon salt, and serve.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com