Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Watermelon has been a great deal at my grocery store lately - and we've been eating it by the pound. I saw this interesting take on a watermelon salad. I have to say that I'm not a fan of arugula - it has a very zesty, bold, bite to it and needs to be paired perfectly - I'll have to say arugula is a great compliment to this dish.
I made this for me - but my husband ended up eating just as much of this as I did! We both remarked that it was very good - but very different - surprisingly different - in a good way. Try it and let me know what you think...

Grilled Watermelon Salad
1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled*

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 it into 8 squares, 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 a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.
To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.

The bite of the arugula, the crispness of the watermelon, the creaminess of the feta (or goat cheese) and the sweetness of the balsamic reduction are an incredible mix. You may fall in love at first bite like I did - or it may take you 2 or 3 bites to find your groove - but it is definetly worth a try - especially with all the watermelon we consume this time of year:)

*I didn't have goat cheese on hand - but I did have crumbled Feta in the fridge - which I have to say was a great stand in.

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