Watermelon salad with a side of memory lane…

May 12, 2010

Watermelon 101 – Did you know that watermelon rinds are edible and sometimes used as a vegetable? In China they are stir-fried…they remove the skin and cook it in olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, scallions, sugar and rum… they also pickle the rind. Interesting!

My grandmother Nonnie was the queen of Thanksgiving olive and pickle dishes. She always included pickled watermelon rind. I have to say, I was not a big fan. I was more a fan of my cousin Kim putting olives on all of her fingers during our fancy dinners and the mandarin oranges the kids had in lieu of shrimp cocktail. What was I thinking? Sugared mini mandarins instead of yummy shrimp and cocktail sauce? My how my palate has changed.

Some of my best Thanksgiving memories were helping Mom and Dad fill the shrimp chillers with crushed ice from the ice crusher machine. Hey…it was the 70’s – we didn’t have built-in ice crushing capabilities in our avocado colored fridge.

Enough wandering down memory lane. Let’s get back to watermelon…

I’ve had grilled watermelon and it actually tasted pretty good. The hostess coated it in olive oil and cracked pepper and threw it on the grill. She then served it with a raspberry vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese.

I also had the pleasure of trying an awesome watermelon salad that my brother and his family brought to my Dad’s birthday party a few years back. At first I was a little hesitant, but after having sampled the grilled watermelon, I was up for trying something new. It turned out to be the hit of the party. I’m pretty sure all of the guests have served it at least once since the party. I know I have.

The Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Feta Cheese
Fresh Mint
Salt and Pepper

I ended up using a super small portion from a wedge of the watermelon I had left over from the Mother’s Day Fruit Salad.

I used my pampered chef 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop – birthday hint #2 – I could use a melon baller. The tablespoon was way too big, but I wanted things to look pretty. I wanted balls, dammit!

In a small bowl, I combined a few drops of olive oil – about a tablespoon of balsamic and a handful of thinly sliced white onion, salt and pepper. I julienned some mint leaves and then added those to the mix. I whisked things around and then placed my whopper melon balls into the bowl for a good coating. I then got out my girlie dessert dishes and started creating my masterpiece of a salad. I topped the melon and onion combo with crumbled feta cheese. I then drizzled more balsamic from the bowl and added mint for garnish. Yes, I did all of this for myself. Me, myself and I. This is definitely not a dish for Dan.

I looked online to see if I could find a similar recipe, so you could have the exact measurements for a party sized portion.  I found a Paula Deen recipe for Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves – it was close. The only difference being that she used red wine vinegar instead of balsamic – I liked the added sweetness of the balsamic.

So there you have it. A perfect summer salad – if you haven’t tried the combo, I think you should!



  1. Hmmm, I trust your judgement whole heartedly so I will give this a try!

  2. OMG! You’ve raved about this salad since the first time you tried it. I can’t wait to make it myself, because it sounds DELICIOUS!!!

  3. I love watermelon and even though the combination with the feta sounds quite interesting, I’m making note of this salad to try it out.

  4. Watermelon rind can also be pickled. The witch’s brew I use makes almost a “spiced” rind. Quite tasty actually.
    Neat idea for an interactive blog. This could get out of control very quickly with all the foodies you know.

    • This brew you speak of sounds interesting! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, can’t wait to start cooking with all of your fresh veggies!

      • I will bring you a jar. And the tomatoes and squash are blooming

      • Correction..I will bring you a jar when I can them this year

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