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Watermelon and Tomato Bruschetta

Three watermelon and tomato bruschetta slices topped with shaved pecorino and cut in half.
You’re probably not thinking garlic, basil, and cheese with your watermelon, but trust us on this one. It's the perfect bruschetta for summer.
James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst

Prep 25 mins
Drain Time 20 mins
Total 45 mins
4 to 6 servings
336 kcal


  • 2 cups (11 1/2 ounces) finely diced seedless watermelon*
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) diced fresh tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 to 6 slices rustic sourdough bread sliced 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper for garnish
  • Shaved pecorino cheese for garnish


  • In a medium bowl, combine the watermelon and tomato. Add the salt and gently mix to combine. Transfer to a colander in the sink and allow excess liquid to drain for 20 minutes. Reserve the bowl.
  • Brush both sides of the slices of sourdough with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using a hot skillet or grill, toast the bread on both sides until lightly charred on the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Alternatively, you can use a toaster, toaster oven, or broiler.

    TESTER TIP: Allow the bread to toast as long as possible without burning. This will allow it to hold the bruschetta mixture without soaking up as much juice.

  • Rub one side of the toasted bread slices with the cut side of the garlic cloves.
  • Return the drained watermelon and tomatoes to the reserved bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the basil. Gently toss to combine.
  • Spoon the watermelon mixture onto the toasted bread and garnish with pepper and a generous shaving of pecorino.


*How do I pick a perfectly ripe watermelon?

If you're going to lug that big old watermelon home, you're going to want to make sure it's perfect. First, take a look at it. Right away, choose one with good coloring—dark green with light, creamy stripes. And, generally speaking, the riper they are, the more matte they are. Next, pick it up; it should be heavy for its size. Roll it around until you find the field spot—the spot it sat on while ripening in the field. It should be a creamy, yellow-white. Bright white or yellow is a sign that it's underripe. Finally, look for webbing and spots on the peel. These so-called imperfections are actually the sugar seeping through the rind and you'll find that particular melon is quite sweet. For a little more in-depth watermelon picking info, check this out and get ready to pick the best watermelons ever.