Watermelon Salad with Lemon-Tequila Dressing
Summer is in full swing now and I keep scrolling down on all my social media outlets drooling over some amazing watermelon salads. It only reminds me that, well, it is summer!!! 🙂
I put this recipe together a little earlier thou, to participate in a collaboration with a group of bloggers that I have been connected now for over a year. We all met when taking the online class Blogging ABC with Jackie Rueda. We all had a lot in common and created a virtual support group where everyone can ask questions, vent and feed each other with great ideas. There are women and some men from all over the globe. Last fall they decided to make an online magazine. This summer they published the 3rd issue and I participated with this refreshing and sassy salad. You can see the online publication here: Blogirls2.0 Summer Edition.
I first published the recipe in my Spanish site Historias de mi Cocina, because the magazine is in Spanish. Last week, however, I found myself making this salad for the third time this season; to bring it to a work outing. Everyone loved the salad and I figured that I should probably post it here as well. The funny thing is that last week I used a lot of substitute ingredients. Why? Because it’s what I had in the fridge, so instead of the beautiful watermelon radish I used red radishes. Instead of banana pepper I used jalapeño, and in place of arugula I used a lettuce mix I had just gotten on my CSA. That is one of my favorite parts of cooking, or in this case not-cooking, using our creativity to bring ingredients together and enjoy whatever is in season now. That is the beauty of cooking. I almost never follow a recipe to a T – and no, I will not be offended if you grabbed a recipe from Five Senses Palate and made it differently. I’d be thrilled that I inspired you to give it a spin and make it your own.
What I absolutely love about this salad is that it hits a lot of spots in your palate. The sweetness and juiciness from the watermelon, the salty and smooth taste of the feta cheese, the crunchiness from kohlrabi, the heat of the pepper, the spiciness of the radish, the freshness and peppery flavor of the arugula. Then the dressing has acidity from the lemon juice, sweetness from agave and the tequila just gives a little zing. It may sound crazy, but believe me, it works! My second favorite part of this salad (did I mention I LOVE this salad?) is that it’s super easy to carry out for a picnic in the park, or to bring to a potluck, or simply just serve it at home while the kids run around in the backyard. Of course, I also love that there is no cooking involved, and there is no better recipe for the summer than the ones that involve NO COOKING!
(serves 4 to 6):
For the dressing:
1 Shallot, finely diced
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Tequila Añejo
1 teaspoon agave or honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 Small seedless watermelon
8 oz. Wedge feta cheese
1 Banana pepper, thinly sliced
1 Watermelon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Kohlrabi, peeled and cut into thin sticks
2 Cups arugula
For the dressing:
In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all the ingredients and shake well. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
For the salad:
Keep the watermelon in the fridge until you are ready to prepare your salad, that way the watermelon is cold for a more refreshing effect. Remove rind and slice the watermelon into 2″ squares. Slice feta cheese into 1″ squares. To assemble the salad, in a large plate working in layers place the arugula, watermelon radish, watermelon squares, feta cheese, kohlrabi sticks and banana pepper slices. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. Enjoy!
Note: if you are taking the salad to a picnic, layer the salad in container with a tight lid, Keep cool. Dress the salad right before serving.