Heart Healthy Grilled Watermelon Salad
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
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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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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