Watermelon Salad

watermelon salad

I don’t often get excited about salads. I mean, really… You order a salad on the rare occasion when your self control is in check {though you’d rather order the Nachos Supreme}. Or when ordering a salad makes you FEEL better about ordering the Nachos Supreme.  And if I can be honest here… there aren’t a lot of salads that I crave.

But when I needed to find a salad to bring to a Mexican-themed dinner with friends, I stumbled upon one I’ll be making regularly.

This Watermelon Salad is soooo good, so versatile and so easy that you’ll find yourself making it all summer long.

For this version, I “plated” it {see main photo} – I guess I was in a “fancy” mood. You could also serve this on top of a bed of greens – drizzled with a little balsamic glaze. I’ve served it in a big bowl, cut up in chunks, along with diced jicama – like in the picture below. And I’ve enjoyed it with diced tomatoes mixed in as well. You could even toss in some jalapeño pepper to add some heat to the sweet!

watermelon salad

This is a perfect salad for a picnic, or could even be the main attraction for a light lunch. Plated, it’s a great start to a sit-down dinner.

Start with this recipe, then make it your own. It will be your go-to summer salad too.

One note – the watermelon is very, well… “watery.” If you are cutting it early in the day, place it in a strainer or sieve set over a large bowl, to allow some of the liquid to drain off. Don’t mix the salad until just ready to serve.

Watermelon Salad
 

Ingredients
  • 1 small seedless watermelon
  • 1 medium jicama root, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes {optional}
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 oz queso fresco cheese, crumbled {alternatively, you can use feta}
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions
  1. Cut melon into 1½ inch chunks.
  2. Soak sliced onion in cold water for about 5 minutes, then strain well.
  3. Mix oil, lime juice and salt in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake, taste and adjust.
  4. In a large bowl combine melon, jicama {if using} and onion.
  5. Pour dressing over the mixture, tossing gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with cilantro.

Notes
The instructions above are for making a bowl of the salad. If plating instead, as in the main photograph, cut the melon into 3″ x 3″ x 1½” squares and forego the jicama. Place watermelon on individual serving plates. Drizzle with dressing, top with crumbled cheese and garnish with cilantro.

Mexican Queso Fresco can be found in the deli cheese case.

Prepare all ingredients and mix just before serving.

 

 

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