Beet Watermelon and Dragon Fruit Salad

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Fruit and Vegetable Salad
Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

Today’s Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad is an eye-catching bright mix of fruits and vegetables that combine to make a refreshing salad drizzled with a light and flavorful vinaigrette.

Sometimes, I think we get caught up in believing we always have to have a base of lettuce or some other leafy green in a salad. While the green salads are wonderful, sometimes it’s a good idea to shake things up a bit and add some variety to salad style and content.  This Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad is super tasty and colorful and very easy to make. It makes a great side to many meals, including casseroles, especially my Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit side salad with Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit side salad with Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

I recommend making the vinaigrette for the salad and letting it stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving. This gives the ingredients time for their flavors to blend. A traditional balsamic vinegar and unflavored high quality olive oil can certainly be used in this recipe. However, if you have access to a store that sells infused balsamic vinegars and oils, they can really increase the flavor in the vinaigrette.  In the vinaigrette in the photos, I used a Meyer lemon-infused olive oil and a raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Other balsamics that work well with a vinaigrette for this salad include a tangerine or orange-infused vinegar or a lime or pink grapefruit rosé. The citrus flavors are really a great pairing with the salad ingredients and vinaigrettes are so light that they don’t mask or overpower the salad ingredients.

Vinaigrette
Lemon and Raspberry Vinaigrette for Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

For the salad, the beets can be steamed or roasted in the oven, then peeled and cubed.  I like to use a serving plate or platter (versus a bowl) for this salad as the ingredients are so colorful and the salad plates well.

Begin by scattering the beet cubes on the plate or platter followed by the other ingredients.  I do recommend fresh herbs be used for the salad. Either fresh basil, mint, or dill work very well and complement the salad ingredients. I don’t measure how many herbs I use in this type of salad; rather, I just go by looks and taste.

I suggest using clementines or mandarins because their sections are bite-size and don’t need to be cut as would be the case for a standard orange, for example.

Dragon Fruit
Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is an exotic tropical fruit and is not available everywhere year-round. If you have access to dragon fruit, it does add a lovely element to the salad and it may be cubed or balled with a melon baller.  The taste of this fruit is often described as a cross between a kiwi and a pear. It’s mildly sweet and the black seeds are edible.

Interior of Dragon Fruit
Interior of Dragon Fruit

If, however, you don’t have dragon fruit, simply increase the amount of watermelon (or one of the other ingredients) in its place in the salad.  Watermelon is such a great palate cleanser and it adds great flavor, texture, and color to the salad.

Any color of sweet pepper can be used with yellow adding the most contrasting color to the other ingredients.

Fruit and Vegetable Salad
Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

Add a few rings of red onion and a sprinkle of pistachios, pine nuts, or hazelnuts or even sunflower seeds. Drizzle with a modest amount of the vinaigrette just at the time of serving and finish off the salad with a sprinkle of Feta cheese crumbles. Don’t soak the salad with the vinaigrette as it just meant to enhance, not overpower, the contents of the salad.

Fruit and Vegetable Salad
Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

The recipe for the vinaigrette makes ample and more than will be needed for this salad for four servings.  It also works well on other salads. I store my leftover vinaigrette in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before shaking the bottle well and serving the vinaigrette with a salad. I recommend using the vinaigrette up within 2-3 days.

Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (traditional balsamic or raspberry or citrus flavored)
½ tbsp shallot, minced
1/8 tsp sea salt

¼ cup olive oil (unflavored or lemon-infused)
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt

Salad:
1 lb beets, cooked, peeled, and cubed
1 cup watermelon, seeded and cubed
1 clementine or mandarin, sectioned
8 – 10 slivers of yellow or orange pepper
Fresh basil, mint, or dill, chopped coarsely, to taste
Red onion rings
½ dragon fruit, cubed or balled with melon baller
Small handful of nuts (e.g., pistachios or hazelnuts)
2 – 3 tbsp Feta cheese crumbles

Method:

Vinaigrette:
Place balsamic vinegar, shallot, and sea salt in mixing jar. Let stand 10 minutes then add the orange juice, maple syrup, mustard, and garlic powder or garlic salt. Cover and shake mixture well. Set aside.

Salad:
Scatter the diced beets on serving plate or platter. Top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette at time of serving and finish with a sprinkle of Feta cheese crumbles.

Yield: 4 side servings

Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad

This Beet, Watermelon, and Dragon Fruit Salad is an eye-catching bright mix of fruits and vegetables. Perfect refreshing side salad drizzled with a light and flavorful vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Keyword fruit and vegetable salad, salad, vinaigrette
Servings 4
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (traditional balsamic or raspberry or citrus flavored)
  • ½ tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil (unflavored or lemon-infused)
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt

Salad:

  • 1 lb beets, cooked, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 cup watermelon, seeded and cubed
  • 1 clementine or mandarin, sectioned
  • 8 - 10 slivers of yellow or orange pepper
  • Fresh basil, mint, or dill, chopped coarsely, to taste
  • Red onion rings
  • ½ dragon fruit, cubed or balled with melon baller
  • Small handful of nuts (e.g., pistachios or hazelnuts)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

Vinaigrette:

  1. Place balsamic vinegar, shallot, and sea salt in mixing jar. Let stand 10 minutes then add the orange juice, maple syrup, mustard, and garlic powder or garlic salt. Cover and shake mixture well. Set aside.

Salad:

  1. Scatter the diced beets on serving plate. Top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette at time of serving and finish with a sprinkle of Feta cheese crumbles.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 4 side servings

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Fruit and Vegetable Salad

You might also enjoy this salad from My Island Bistro Kitchen, too!
Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

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