It’s the heat of the summer, and who wants to be stuck inside cooking? Not me, that’s for sure! I’ve become pretty adventurous this summer, and by that I mean I’m grilling everything. Give it to me, I’ll grill it. One of my new favorite bites this summer is Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad. It’s sweet, but yet the flavors are so unexpected.

If you’ve never had grilled watermelon before, now is the time. Grilling the fruit gives it a terrific sweet-smoky flavor, that like I said earlier, is so unexpected. The sweet juicy watermelon pairs deliciously with the creamy and salty goat cheese, and the drizzle of balsamic makes this salad top notch. It’s summer, and in my opinion the more cooking that can be done outside the better. Enjoy those long hot days, outside, and with some grilled watermelon.

 

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Ingredients:
1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)
2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled, preferably a French Chevre
Fresh finely cracked black pepper

 

Directions:

1. Stand the watermelon half cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 8 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.

2. Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.

3. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

4. To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson