Heart Healthy Grilled Watermelon Salad

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Salads, Recipes
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

One day, we stopped for a quick, healthy lunch while traveling in Maryland when Jan spied the appetizing dish on the menu—grilled watermelon salad.  So, I said to Jan, “You can grill watermelon? Where have I been? Let’s give it a try!” 

As you may recall from my blog on the health perks of watermelon, it’s an extremely heart-healthy food, rich in antioxidants like vitamins A & C, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, lycopene, and fiber.  Plus, this satisfying salad is full of fresh vegetables and contains heart-healthy olive oil.

This salad was not only healthy, it was so delicious that Jan and I got the recipe and made it at home. It was so tasty that I wanted to share the recipe with you as well.

Grilled Watermelon Salad
Serves  4                              

Ingredients

Four to six ½-1-½ inch squares seedless watermelon cut into pie-shape wedges or chunks
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar                  
3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil        
Sprinkle of kosher or sea salt to taste
A pinch to ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups mixed greens
1 cup crumbled ricotta, feta and/or goat cheese
1/8 cup lemon juice
Lime or naval orange rind cut into sliver strips

Directions: Pour vinegar into a small saucepan, and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush grill rack with olive oil and drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat them. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear. The watermelon caramelizes slightly as you cook it, giving it a delicious extra sweet taste. Place to one side on a plate, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, mix the lemon juice and olive oil and toss it with the mixed greens. Place a ¼ cup of mixed greens on each plate, and place a slice of the grilled watermelon on top. Then top with another ¼ cup of mixed greens and ½ cup cheese. Finish with a very light drizzle of olive oil with lemon & balsamic syrup, lemon rinds, and a dusting of fresh ground pepper. Garnish with chopped mint or chopped basil.

For other variations, you can add: chopped red onion, chopped mint, pitted kalamata olives, pumpkin seeds, roasted almonds, and/or picked radishes.
 
Now, it’s your turn: What’s your favorite salad?

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