DIY Down the Shore: Chris Kearse’s Heirloom Tomato and Summer Melon Salad

For the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking to a variety of Philly chefs and bartenders, asking them what they bring with them to eat and drink when they go down the shore. And now, for the next couple weeks, we’re going to be sharing with you their favorite recipes for snacks, cocktails and other delicious things so that you, too, can eat and drink like a pro.

It’s clear by reading the menu at Will BYOB that executive chef and owner, Chris Kearse, has a passion for featuring the freshest ingredients of the season, always with an added twist. Today, Kearse has shared his take on a traditional summer tomato salad for you to take down the shore with you.

But don’t fret. If you’re familiar with the chef’s elaborate and artfully designed plates, rest assured that you won’t need tweezers for this recipe. Chef Kearse’s tomato salad is delightfully simple, and showcases some of summer’s best produce.

Heirloom Tomato and Summer Melon Salad

From chef Chris Kearse of Will BYOB

serves 4-6 people


3 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes

1 crenshaw Melon (can substitute cantaloupe)

1 seedless watermelon

1 bunch breakfast radishes, sliced

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped



To assemble salad:

– Slice tomato into 1/3 inch rounds or into wedges

– Cut crenshaw melon in half , discard seeds

– Using a melon baller, scoop melon into balls (natch)

– Peel and dice watermelon into 1/2 inch cubes

– On a large platter, arrange tomatoes across the bottom and season with salt

– Place melons on top of the tomatoes

– Garnish with sliced radishes and chopped pistachio nuts

– Pour coconut water and orange mint vinaigrette on top


For coconut water and orange mint vinaigrette

2 cups coconut water

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup mint oil (can substitute olive oil, or see below)



– Mix all ingredients and shake well


Mint Oil

2 bunches of orange mint

1 cup grapeseed oil


– Puree oil and leaves of mint until a fine puree

– In a wide pot heat mixture till boils, continue boil for 35 seconds, strain and cool immediately


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