I had an interesting arugula and watermelon salad at Italian restaurant Stella AlPina Osteria in Burlingame, California a few weeks ago. What was unusual with this salad was the presentation. The chef had tossed the arugula salad in apricot vinaigrette and served the salad with a side of thick watermelon wedges.
I realized later that placing the watermelon on the side made perfect sense. I have made watermelon salads before and I noticed that the moment the dressing hits the watermelon because of the salt in the dressing the watermelon releases so much water that the salad is swimming in watermelon juice and can look rather unsightly. Also, notice how the smaller the watermelon is cut, the more water gets released from the fruit? This presentation of placing a couple of thick watermelon wedges on the side of a salad rather than cutting them into smaller cubes and tossing them in the salad is a very creative way to make a mouthwatering watermelon salad.
Here is my version of a watermelon salad presented the way the chef at Stella Alpina Osteria did. Since the salad has apricot dressing I added some dried apricots to give my salad extra apricot flavor.
Watermelon Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette
makes 4 servings
- 1 small seedless watermelon, skin removed and cut into thick 8 thick wedges
- 6 cups spring greens mix
- 6 dried apricots cut into thin strips or 2 fresh apricot cut into small pieces
- 4 tsp creamy goat cheese (optional)
- Ingredients for Apricot Vinaigrette – recipe to follow
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and pepper
- Make apricot vinaigrette and set aside.
- When you are ready to serve salad, toss salad greens and dried apricots together with 2 – 4 tbsp apricot vinaigrette.
- Place watermelon wedges on one half of a platter.
- On the other half of the platter place the salad. Top the salad with goat cheese.
- Serve immediately. Ask your guests to take a couple of wedges of watermelon along with the tossed green salad.
Apricots, watermelon and salad, a refreshingly simple and delicios salad on a hot summer day.