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Healthy You

Fresh Recipe: Watermelon and Lime Basil Salad

Thursday, August 03, 2017 7:52 AM

Basils are part of the Ocimum plant genus. They have been grown for thousands of years and are much-loved herbs today in many of the world’s cuisines. Lime basil has a unique citrusy fragrance and flavor. Lori Bumbaco, RDN, CSO, LDN, Oncology Dietitian at NorthShore, recommends its mild lime taste as the perfect variety for dishes including stir-fries, chicken and fish dishes, salsas, vinegars, herb teas and desserts.


When using it in a cooked dish, add it at the last moment to preserve the flavor. Many gardeners suggest harvesting herbs in the morning when the essential oils are strongest —after the dew has dried and before the heat of the afternoon sun. Do not store fresh basil in the refrigerator as temperatures below 48 degrees will turn it black. Try to use it the same day you harvest it, keeping stems in a glass of water until using.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Lime Basil (Recipe makes 4 servings)

  • 6 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup fresh lime basil leaves, cut into thin strips (see note)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 oz feta cheese, broken into large pieces (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine watermelon and half the basil.
  2. If desired add 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss to combine.
  4. Divide among four plates; scatter cheese, walnuts and remaining basil on top.
  5. Tip: When cutting basil, stack a few basil leaves (of similar size) and roll into a tight cylinder; with a sharp knife, slice crosswise into thin strips. 

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories : 243
Total Fat: 16 grams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 21 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 8 grams

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.