With the summer heating up everywhere, it’s a good time to start preparing dishes that are cooling and delicious as well. Adding watermelon to panzanella, a classic Italian salad, kicks the kid-friendliness of the dish up several notches. Tomatoes from the farmer’s market (or your garden!) will have the best flavor. For bread cubes with just the right amount of crunch, use only pieces with crust. Freeze the rest to toast for croutons down the road.
This is a sensational salad recipe and a great way to use up any leftover melon. As with all panzanella salads, it’s important to let the flavors infuse before serving. Toasting the bread a little will help to keep it slightly crispier.
Watermelon Arugulawith Feta Salad
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/8 pound seedless watermelon, rind removed,
and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.
Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings