In the summer there is no better fruit for serving a crowd than watermelon. They are relatively inexpensive, feed a bunch of people, and you would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn't enjoy indulging in it.
My watermelon, berry, and basil salad was a huge hit at the baby shower a few weeks ago - I even had someone ask for the recipe before they left so that they could make it for themselves again that week at home! Those toasty almonds add the perfect contrast of texture to the marinated fruit and those ribbons of fresh shredded basil perfectly accent the subtle sweetness of the berries. I promise, your guests will be raving over this one!
The salad itself is pretty easy to make, but I do have a few time saving tips to share with you that will help you actually enjoy party day instead of being panicked and rushed:
- Make the lime simple syrup up to a week before your party and store in a large air tight jar in the refrigerator.
- Toast the almonds up to 2-3 days in advance of your party and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Then the berries and melon only need an hour to marinate in the syrup before you can serve this gorgeous salad at the party.
This recipe makes 15 big beautiful servings, but you can easily half the recipe or keep the extra in the fridge for up to 4 days for easy breakfast and lunches for yourself all week. Just add the almonds and basil each day to your individual serving bowl.
Watermelon, Berry, and Basil Salad
This watermelon, berry, and basil salad really highlights the best that the summer season has to offer! It comes together relatively quickly and feeds a crowd. Be sure to allow an hour for the flavors to marinate though before serving!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 15 servings 1x
- 1 ½ cup blanched, slivered almonds
- 1 ⅓ cups water
- ⅔ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 (3-4 pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into thin wedges
- 4 pints raspberries,washed
- 2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
- ¾ cup finely shredded fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almonds onto it in a single layer. Toast for 5-10 minutes - stirring the pan halfway through if the almonds on the outer edge are browning too quickly. Toast until the almonds are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, stir the water, lime juice, and sugar in a medium sized saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved, Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and half of the basil. Drizzle the lime syrup over the fruit and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill so that the flavors can develop.
- When ready to serve use a slotted spoon to scoop the melon and berries onto a large platter so that most of the excess syrup stays in the bowl. Sprinkle the almonds and remaining basil over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.
Make the lime simple syrup up to a week before your party and store in a large air tight jar in the refrigerator.
Toast the almonds up to 2-3 days in advance of your party and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you find that you do not need all of the lime simple syrup keep it in the fridge to sweeten cocktails or fresh pressed juices.