The Perfect Summer Salad: Watermelon Heirloom Tomato


My ultimate summer goal (besides spending every extra second at the beach and/or pool) is to wow at every barbecue I go to with a show stopper dish. I’m competitive by nature, and that doesn’t stop on the court or the field, it continues in the kitchen. Well, the hunt for the perfect summer salad ends here. Chef Jamie Dunn, resident restaurant chef at Crown Landing, sat down with me to give me some insight into his Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, and Burrata Salad.

What inspired this salad?

I feel all chefs utilize product that shines brightest in its peak season.  The heirloom tomatoes and watermelon we’re getting in right now, simply put, are delicious. The culinary team at Loews Coronado Bay Resort continually strives to showcase local ingredients which is why I chose di Stefano farms from Pomona, California for its burrata cheese.

What is your favorite summer vegetable? Summer fruit?

My favorite summer vegetable is cauliflower. I like how it can be used in a variety of ways in a culinary setting. Roasted, pickled micro-planed, sous vide… cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that consistently provides amazing flavor and texture. Summer fruit is a difficult one, so I will cheat and say all stone fruit! Peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots… they all absolutely stand out in the summer months. The elevated temperature reacts beautifully with the fruit, activating the sugar within to create a deliciously sweet, crisp, bite.

Tell me about some of these ingredients and where they came from.

We are currently getting our heirloom tomatoes from Valdivia farms in Carlsbad, just north of San Diego. Our watermelon is sourced from Munak farms in Adelaide, California. It is a source of pride for the culinary team to represent these farms and fisherman and bring a beautifully composed, great tasting dish to our guests that both the farmer and kitchen staff can be proud of.

Check out Chef Jamie’s recipe

(Note: Salad recipe is for 2, dressing makes ~2 cups)


– 2 oz. burrata
– 1 heirloom tomato quartered
– 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes
– 1/2 cup compressed watermelon
– 1 pickled cherry quartered

Sherry Vinaigrette:

– 1 medium shallot, minced
– 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Micro basil to finish (optional)

Combine all salad ingredients, finish with sherry vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste, finish with micro basil (optional).


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