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Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Side Dish

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

I traveled to Portland, OR recently on a work trip, and had a chance to stop in the Whole Foods downtown. I love to explore grocery stores and farmers markets where I travel, as I always find something new. Whole Foods Pearl District in Portland was great – it was full of fantastic local fare, and the prepared section/salad bar was pretty awesome. I found this fresh strawberry watermelon salad that had basil and ground pepper, and knew I had to make it at home. I couldn’t get over the basil combined with the sweet fruits, and the spicy hit of ground pepper. So good.

And, it couldn’t be easier to make. Simply chop up the fruit, combine with chopped (or a chiffonade of basil), and some freshly ground pepper. It’s super easy and quick, and perfect for summer meals. With just a few ingredients, it’s a nice way to let summer produce shine.

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Do you ever have those experiences eating out where you’re like, “I definitely need to try making this myself!”

So, it’s a ‘make at home’/’copycat’ recipe that I’m stealing from the Whole Foods Pearl District in Portland because I had to share. It’s a tasty, pretty side dish for all of your summer gatherings. If you can tolerate dairy, I would imagine it would be lovely with feta or goat crumbles. If you eat meat, try it with a white fish or a piece of grilled chicken. 

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Side Salad
Serves 2
This simple, light combination of fruit and herbs makes a delicious summer side salad. Serve on its own, or use it to top fish or chicken.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1.5 Cups of cubed watermelon
  2. 1.5 Cups of cubed strawberries
  3. 6 basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade*
  4. Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Combine cubed strawberry and watermelon in a bowl.
  2. Grind black pepper to taste and add 1/2 of the basil
  3. Stir, then add the rest of the basil and another grind of pepper.
  4. Cover and stick in the frige to let the flavors come together for a few hours. Serve promptly.
  1. The longer you let it sit the better it tastes, however the fruit will start to wilt a bit; so I like to leave it in the fridge a few hours to let the flavors come together, then serve.
  2. It’s also delicious the next day, it just doesn’t look as pretty as the berries and watermelon have gotten more liquidy. Simply give a good stir, add a bit of fresh basil and more ground pepper to bring it back to life.
  3. *To cut a chiffonade of basil, roll the six leaves together lengthwise into a cigar shape, and slice across into fine shreds. This site has more information:
Adapted from Whole Foods Pearl District Portland
Adapted from Whole Foods Pearl District Portland
Made To Glow
Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Strawberry Watermelon Basil Summer Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)


This recipe has been shared with Real Food Recipe Roundup.


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  1. This looks so yummy! Whole Foods always has so many things that I want to recreate at home. :)

    The Grass Skirt
    Erin @ The Grass Skirt recently posted…Friday favorites & a NuNaturals giveaway!My Profile

  2. Yum! The pepper sounds like an interesting addition to this recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try! :)
    Sami recently posted…Fuel Yourself With Turkey & Egg White MuffinsMy Profile

  3. Great combo! And fun to read about Portland… My hometown, although I’m currently living in Germany. I’ve been to the pearl dist. Whole Foods more times than I can count! Beautiful store.
    Brianne recently posted…Eat Clean. Move Daily. Fridge signs to help!My Profile

  4. So simple and beautiful, this looks delicious!

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