This refreshing, summery, grilled watermelon salad recipe is a fun one to serve to guests because so many are surprised to learn that you can grill watermelon. But because the fruit retains its freshness, the salad is still a great choice for a hot day. Serve it to a crowd as an alternative to boring fruit salad. Or save it for a romantic dinner, since watermelon has some romantic properties that might surprise you!
Have you ever grilled watermelon?
This recipe comes from Chef Eric Finney of the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa. Because Arizona gets intense heat, Finney loves to use watermelon to help revive guests at the end of the day. And grilling watermelon adds one more layer of flavor to this favorite summer fruit.
In fact, we love this grilled watermelon recipe may be our new favorite barbecue dish. What’s better for beating the heat than juicy watermelon? And grilling the fruit is surprisingly easy. You basically treat it as you would grilled vegetables.
How to grill watermelon
You want to start with a good, hot grill. Then place your fruit straight on the grill leaving it just long enough to get grill marks, but no longer. Flip your slices and repeat on the other side. The grilling treatment gives the watermelon just a hint of char and makes it harmonize beautifully with the savory ingredients in this salad, like peppery arugula.
The romantic side of watermelon
Of course, not only is watermelon a refreshing summer treat, it’s one of the world’s most interesting aphrodisiacs. (Watermelon is also one of our 10 Best Foods for Men. Discover why men in particular need what watermelon has to offer.)
Beyond it’s potential as an aphrodisiac food, watermelon has some benefits that are great for us all. First of all, according to wonderopolis, watermelon is over 90% water? That means it’s remarkably hydrating. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the salad lets additional aphrodisiac ingredients shine. You might be surprised to learn that both arugula and cheese have a history as aphrodisiacs. Yep, this grilled watermelon salad is refreshing, it’s nutritious and it offers a trifecta of aphrodisiacs.
Tips for making the best grilled watermelon salad
Chef Finney, who is known for working in the high-volume kitchens of luxury resorts, attempted to pare this recipe down for the home cook. The amount of watermelon is a little vague but we find that using half of a medium melon is just about right. (Look for something about the size of a soccer ball.)
As the chef notes, using quality olive oil is key for this recipe. One that we’re fond of is La Tourangelle, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Spruce Eats has a great taste test of several other oils worth discovering.
Incidentally, the chef doesn’t call for it but we like this grilled watermelon salad finished with a pinch of salt and black pepper. But you be the judge.
Grilled watermelon with baby arugula and goat cheese salad.
- 1/2 medium watermelon peeled and cut into rectangles
- 3 tbsp high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 4 c baby arugula
- 1/2 c crumbled goat cheese
- Grill watermelon over a very hot grill just long enough to place nice grill marks on both sides and pick up some flavor from the grill.
- Place watermelon rectangles in refrigerator to cool – you want the watermelon to be very cold when you actually prepare the salad.
- Remove watermelon from refrigerator and cut into uniform cubes.
- Combine the olive oil, arugula and goat cheese in mixing bowl and gently toss in the watermelon before serving.
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