Herbed Tri-tip on the Grill with Watermelon Salad

I’ve had my head in the clouds for the past few days, languishing in cyberspace, and avoiding all types of involved cooking or baking.  We haven’t had to deal with the weather so many of you are melting in, so I can’t use that excuse.  In fact, we’ve been experiencing our usual “June Gloom” in July and rarely see the sun until after noon, then only for a couple of hours before the clouds cover it again.  It’s a whopping 75 degrees right now, with the warmest part of the day behind us.  Still, I haven’t felt like baking.  And lately, dinner has been a quick piece of meat or pasta with a salad.  Tasty, but not necessarily anything to get worked up over.

What there is to get worked up over is having Jenny of All Things Edible deem me worthy of the Brillante Weblog Premio-2008 award days and days ago, and I’ve not taken the time to say thank you to her here, and to recognize the efforts of other food obsessive bloggers whom I depend on for my dose of daily drool.  Thanks, Jenny!  It’s great to receive something sparkly from another foodie and to do so in the company of others you’ve named, well all righty, then.  Definitely an occasion to put on my eyebrows!  Having said that, Ben of What’s Cooking?, Kit of The Kittalog, Cathy of Noble Pig, Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen, Grace of A Southern Grace, and peabody of Northwest Noshings (who has an amazing new and and droolworthy savory packed site featuring ingredients from the upper regions of the Left Coast) are whom I deem worthy of this recognition as well.  What I enjoy about all of these talented people is that their blogs are full of a variety of yummy food, both sweet & savory, and with a few other things thrown in for good measure just to keep me on my toes.

As far as being on my toes is concerned, like I’ve said, I haven’t been.  That’s given me some time to practice being less chained to my recipes than I normally am.  But I have seen about eight million watermelon recipes this summer, so clearly I had to try one myself.  And even though we’re sans sunshine, it is summer, and that means giving the grill a workout with an impromptu tri-tip roast and an easy herby dry rub.  Nothing could be easier if you want flavor with not much effort.  I even had to man the barbie by myself this time which is always quite the adventure, since I don’t always pay attention like I should when it comes to the grill.

Bear in mind this experience was most likely made a bit more challenging than it should have been because I finally opened a bottle of Trader Vic’s Mai Tai mix we’ve had for quite some time and poured a cocktail for my mother and I to swig while trying to figure out whether the temperature reading for the meat read “done” 15 minutes after putting it on the grill.  Clearly something was already not quite right, and it was no wonder considering the punch those Mai Tais had.  Yowzah.  With some easy adjusting and a few winces caused by my attempts to grasp the metal thermometer with my bare hands, I was able to get an accurate read and get the roast back on track.

I think I’ll stick to my white wine from now on.  Seriously.

Grilled Dry-Rubbed Tri-tip & Watermelon Salad

Rub Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 pinches dried oregano
2 pinches dried thyme
3-4 shakes dried crushed red pepper
3-4 pinches kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pat the roast ( 3 lb. tri tip) dry with paper towels, and place the roast on a large plate.
  2. Rub liberally with olive oil on all sides
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl, then sprinkle over meat, rubbing to cover all surfaces.  Let sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling, especially if it’s just come from the fridge.
  4. Light burners that will not be directly under the meat and preheat grill to 325 (using the temp gauge on the hood).
  5. Sear the tri-tip on all sides, then move to a place not directly over the burners.
  6. Insert thermometer so that it is positioned in the largest part of the meat.
  7. Cook to your desired level of doneness (varies quite a bit from one source to another) which for us is medium rare to medium, or an internal temp of 140 degrees F.
  8. Remove from grill, then tent with foil to let sit while you prepare the salad.

Watermelon Salad Ingredients

crunchy greens (like romaine)
peppery greens (like arugula or watercress)
or an herb mix
avocado, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 c. seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
1/2 c. feta, crumbled
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped


  1. Put greens in a large shallow bowl so you can make it look like Martha made it.  Sprinkle watermelon chunks on next, followed by the avocado, cilantro, red onions, then feta.
  2. For the dressing, in a small jar you can shake, or a small bowl you can whisk ingredients in…

Salad Dressing Ingredients

1 clove garlic, minced
juice of two limes (depends on how juicy they are…)
1-2 tsp. honey (or to your preference after your taste test)
1/8 – 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (depending again on preference to balance acidity of limes)
Salt & Pepper


  1. Shake in your jar, or if using a bowl, mix all ingredients except oil, then drizzle while pouring which is always quite a bit of fun.
  2. Pour over salad, then toss, or allow people to serve, then pour dressing over individual servings.  (We like to pour, then toss.  The feta gets creamy with the avocado, and it’s quite nice.)

Serve the tri-tip and watermelon salad with some lightly seasoned quinoa.  And don’t go for seconds on the Mai Tais.  Uh-uh.