Its a one day heat wave here in the Northeast! Perfect day to break out the last of the Watermelon before we get into soup weather! I made this salad earlier in the Summer and forgot to post about it. I was on a melon kick – did you see this post on the melon and crispy prosciutto arugula salad? That is another winner!
Lets talk Watermelon Salad!
Nothing is more refreshing and yummy than fresh crisp watermelon. It seems an odd choice to add to a salad, but this one is so good! I took this Watermelon Salad with Cotija and Smoky Dressing recipe and made a few changes. Namely I did NOT soak the red onions as I prefer them raw. I left that part in the recipe below in case you want to give it a try. I also switched out the red vinegar in the dressing for balsamic. I could not for the life of me find pimentón, a sweet smoked Spanish paprika , so I left it out. I could have used a regular paprika but decided to go with a more traditional balsamic dressing.
What’s better with Watermelon than a salty cheese and balsamic vinegar?
I did use the Cotija, for the pictures I used a grater, but added bigger crumbled piece later. And lastly, I sprinkled the salted pepitas otherwise know as sunflower seeds on the salad.
Talk about GOOD! I loved it! Next time I will add the paprika .. but honestly I didn’t think it needed it. The best part was the crunch of the onion, sunflower seeds , the salty cheese with the cool crisp watermelon. YUM!
- 1 medium-size red onion, sliced
- 1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 12 cups assorted tender salad greens (such as mâche, watercress, arugula, and Bibb)
- 1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
- 8 (1 1/4-inch-thick) chilled seedless watermelon slices, rinds removed
- 3/4 cup salted pepitas or sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar ( I used balsamic)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons pimentón (sweet smoked Spanish paprika) – I did not add / Icould not find this in my store
- 2 teaspoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare the Onions: Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a glass bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours. (Mixture can be made and chilled up to 2 days ahead.) Remove onions from marinade, discarding marinade. ( I skipped this step – opting for fresh red onions instead)
- Prepare Dressing : whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, pimenton, and mustard. Add the salt and pepper to taste
- Toss together greens, cheese, 1 cup red onions, and desired amount of dressing in a large bowl.
- Top each watermelon slice with 1 1/2 cups greens mixture.
- Sprinkle with pepitas.
- Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette and onions.
I did not soak the red onions and substituted balsamic vinegar for the red whine vinegar in the dressing.
Keywords: Watermelon Salad, Easy, Salad