Most people think that you need a lot of land around you to grow watermelon because their vines need to spread out. But watermelon varieties are available in dwarf sizes and don’t require the land you might think you would need to grow them. There are also an amazing range of things you can do with all of the watermelon that’s in season right now–both sweet like this watermelon agua fresca and savory, like this savory recipe I’m sharing with you today for a Tipsy Watermelon Salad. This recipe is a little savory medley with a boozy dressing for a decidedly grownup salad. The basil can be substituted for arugula, which is equally delicious though not as spicy.
Tipsy Watermelon Salad:
Cut The Watermelon Into Thick Slices
The beauty of this salad is not just the taste but also the presentation. Cut the watermelon into thick slices so that they feel almost like cutting into a steak.
Experiment With Garnish
The Malden salt is what really makes this dish, those course flakes make for a wonderful texture and savory balance. But also try adding shaved fennel and other fresh summer vegetables that are thinly sliced for added texture and color. Just keep it light and subtle so the watermelon is the star.
Try Different Herbs
Some herbs are peppery, some add aroma, some add sweetness. Try different types of basil–purple, Thai, globe–along with peppery arugula, baby kale, micro greens, even aromatic herbs like thyme and lemon verbena.
What is your favorite way to use watermelon? Share with me in the comments or on social media @GeorgiaPellegrini using #ModernPioneering!
“Tipsy Watermelon Salad”
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 small watermelon well chilled, rind removed, and cut into ¾-inch thick rectangles, about 4 cups
- Maldon salt flakes or coarse sea salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 small fennel bulb very thinly shaved
- 2 cups basil or baby arugula leaves
- In a small bowl, add the whiskey, lime, olive oil, and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine.
- Lay a thick rectangle of watermelon on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with shaved fennel and arugula. Drizzle several tablespoons of the whiskey dressing over the top of it all, finish off with another sprinkle of salt and more pepper, and serve.