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SS #11 - Watermelon Salad

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I chose Watermelon Salad because my week to pick was July 4th weekend. Watermelon and the 4th of July just seem to go together!

But the task was then to choose the best Watermelon Salad. I have seen many recipes and have tried a number of them, with a variety of ingredients. So, it became my mission to test variations of the recipes and pick my favorite.

This is actually a very flexible recipe - ingredients and the amount of each one can be changed to suit individual tastes. So I think I will just list the ingredients in each variation and let each of you determine the amount to put in.

My first "test" had the following ingredients:
Watermelon - Cut into bite-sized cubes or balls
Cherry Tomatoes
Red Onion - Sliced very thinly
Kalamata Pitted Olives - I left them whole
Feta Cheese - Flavored or not
Chopped Basil
Olive Oil - Not a lot

It was good, but I am trying for memorable.

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My second "test" had the following ingredients:
Watermelon - Cut into bite-sized cubes or balls
Red Onion - Sliced very thinly
Kalamata Pitted Olives - This time I cut them in half
Feta Cheese - Flavored or not
Chopped Cilantro on this one
Olive Oil - Not a lot

Bill really liked the cilantro in this one. In case you were wondering, the white flowers were from the cilantro in our garden.

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Is the third time a charm? We shall see. Ingredients were:
Watermelon - Cut into bite-sized cubes or balls
Red Onion - Sliced very thinly
Kalamata Pitted Olives - About 10 olives chopped
Feta Cheese - Flavored or not
Basil & Mint - Chopped
Watercress - About a cup
Lemon Juice - To taste

This was good too and more healthy, I guess (no olive oil).

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Oh my gosh! I just found this website with TONS of watermelon salad recipes! I need to try them all, but here is my favorite so far and the one I am choosing as my pick:


Blue Watermelon Walnut Salad
(From watermelon.org)

Makes 6-8 servings.

For the walnuts:
1 cup walnut pieces or halves
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce

For the reduction:
2 cups inexpensive balsamic vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary

For the Salad:
3 or 4 ounces fresh baby greens
2 seedless oranges, peeled and sectioned
4 cups seedless watermelon cubes
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
2 cups fresh, trimmed and sliced strawberries
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Heat the walnuts in a seasoned wok or heavy non-stick sauté pan over medium for a minute and stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Adjust heat to prevent burning while constantly stirring the nuts until the sugar melts. Continue to stir and cook until the nuts begin to stick and the mixture is getting sticky. Spread the nuts over a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and cool. Break apart into small pieces and crumble. Set aside.

Heat the vinegar in a heavy non-corrosive saucepan over medium heat and stir in sugar. Continue to stir and adjust heat to bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the rosemary sprig to the pan. Continue to simmer until the contents of the pan reduces by 1/2 its original volume. Set aside.

Divide the greens among 6 or 8 salad plates and arrange the orange sections, watermelon, grapes and strawberries over the greens. Drizzle the balsamic syrup over the fruit and the cheese crumbles over that. Top with the candied walnut pieces and serve.


Oh my gosh! What can I say but Wow! Wow! Wow!

It's hard to go wrong with blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola) and candied walnuts, but the watermelon and other fruits also played an important part in enhancing the taste sensations.

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So, the door is wide open for watermelon salad recipes - try the one that I did (see above) or go on the watermelon.org website and try a different one.

Comments (4)

Wow Nancy, that last version is such a beautiful salad! I can't wait to try that. Thanks so much for doing all the experimentation and also for choosing a perfect salad for this holiday weekend. Sounds like you had a lot of fun (love the pics of your neighborhood GTG).

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Nancy, all of your test salads and your final choice looks so delicious. I really like the link that you shared with us. I can't wait to make mine.

Thanks again for making the great selection of Watermelon salad recipes to choose from for this week.

Hope you had a great 4th of July and have a great day today.

I made your first salad listed, and loved it. Thanks for the great recipes.

Anne:

Nancy, these salads sound delicious. I love salads with a mix of veggies, fruit, nuts, whatever! I would never have thought to combine watermelon, feta and olives, but the thought of that combo is making my mouth water! Thanks for these great ideas!

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