Stay Cool With This In Season Salad

At the most recent Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) End of Summer Dining Soiree, we were asked to come up with a plated salad course for over 200 guests.  Executive Chef Ashley Santo Domingo created a fresh in season watermelon salad that left guests raving for days.  Now enjoy this tasty salad recipe at home; not only is this refreshing and bright but the perfect way to cool off during these hot Southern California days.

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Compressed Watermelon Salad | Heirloom Watermelons Pickled and Compressed, Balsamic Reduction, Basil Emulsion, Sea Salt Foam, and Summer Micro Greens




Recipe as follows:

Compressed Pickled Watermelon


Peel a watermelon and cut 1 ½ inch by 6 inch square steaks

Lime zest of 4 limes

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Lime juice of 2 limes


Place each steak into a vacuum pack bag.

Mix the juice, vinegar, and lime zest with cracked pepper, pour over watermelon.

Seal the watermelon using a vacuum pack sealer on a medium to high setting, once sealed you will see it instantly compresses.


Basil Emulsion


300 ml (10.1 fl.oz) olive oil

300 grams (10.5 oz) fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix the fresh basil with olive oil and puree with a hand blender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour through an iSi Funnel and sieve directly into the iSi Whipper.

Screw on one iSi Cream Charger and shake vigorously.


Sea Salt Foam


100 grams white balsamic vinegar

200 grams salted water

3.75 grams Versa whip

45 grams Xanthan gum


Combine 4 ingredients.

Whip ingredients in a kitchen aid mixer for about 25 minutes or until ultra foamy and full to the rim of the bowl, with stiff peaks.

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To Assemble:

3 ea Compressed watermelon steak two colors, cut into 3×2 inch x1.5 inch blocks

2 oz sea salt foam

2 oz micro greens

1 oz basil emulsion

½ oz balsamic glaze

Fleur de Sel to taste


Arrange the basil emulsion on a plate with compressed watermelon and mozzarella and sprinkle with salt, balsamic vinegar reduction, then arrange a few dollops of the sea salt foam around the plate. Garnish with petite micro greens.  Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Marlin Salazar Photography &

Christopher Todd Studios

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