Five Ingredient Feast: Grilled Watermelon Salad

A scorching late-August or early September day slowly fades into a balmy summer night, and the smell of grill residue lingers in the air. Your bathing suit is infinitely damp from spontaneous cannonballs in the pool and your stomach begins to growl after a full day of sun-soaked bliss. Grass clippings from the latest mow stick to your bare feet as you wander toward the picnic table in search of a snack. Dad just threw the burgers and hotdogs on the barbeque, you can hear them hissing against the hot metal grates. Your eyes dart past the cooler of ice cold drinks and scan the surrounding tables clad in red and white checked cloths. Past the chips and dip, past the corn on the cob, and then you spot it. A giant bowl filled to the brim with bright pink wedges of the fruit, dotted with tiny seeds. You grab one by the rind and sink your teeth into the cool, juicy flesh, unaware of the dribble down your front or the slurping sound coming from your mouth.

This is what summer is made of. I have countless food memories from backyard cookouts during this time of year, but an integral part has always been watermelon. I could eat it by the bowl-full as a kid, and that hasn’t changed today, so as a tribute to summers past, and this one as it comes to a close, I propose a dish where watermelon is the star. This salad gets a little wacky by putting the watermelon on the grill, which might seem like an abomination, but give it a try and you’ll find that the slightly smoky flavor highlights all that is good about this summer fruit. Other surprises like a syrupy balsamic reduction, salty crumbled feta, and fresh red onion will turn a simple piece of watermelon into something special. Serve this classy dish at an end-of-the-summer dinner party to give your guests the juiciest salad they’ll ever eat.

**Recipe**

Grilled Watermelon Salad
A variation on Claire Robinson‘s recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)
2 cups fresh field greens, washed and dried
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
Fresh finely cracked black pepper

Stand the watermelon half cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut out 4 squares (you should have some melon to spare), roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.

Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.

Heat your outdoor grill or a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

To assemble the salads, put about 1/2 cup of field greens on a serving plate and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sliced red onion. Follow with a grilled slice of watermelon in the center and top with a tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.

Tags: , , ,

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Blog, Budget, Dinner Parties, Eating, Featured, Healthy Recipes, Just Recipes, and Recipes.
Tags: barbeque, dating ideas summer, fourth of july, and Nutrition and Health.
Cooking Method: On the Grill and On the Stove.
Mealtime: Dinner and Lunch.
I Don't Have Any: Cooking Skill, Money, and Time.
I'm Cooking For...: BBQ, Dinner Party, Easy Dinner, Fourth of July, Meatless Mondays, and Summer.
Type of Food: Salad, Sides, Vegetarian, and Vegetarian Main.
I Don't Eat: Carbs, Gluten, and Meat.

Originally posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

15 Responses to “Five Ingredient Feast: Grilled Watermelon Salad”

  1. Kenzie

    September 11th, 2012

    Okay, this is REALLY cool. Nice photos, too!

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