If you would like to serve something different to your guests at either lunch or dinner, you might consider preparing a Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans and Blue Cheese. Served with a lime mint vinaigrette, it is an unexpected and tasty salad that makes a perfect starter for a summer meal. I have to say that the watermelon salad is very different from the way I grew up eating watermelon in Texas.
When I was a little girl, I remember our family eating a wedge or slice of watermelon sitting at an outdoor picnic table covered with newspapers that would catch the juices as they trickled down our hands and dripped off our elbows while holding the watermelon. Spitting seeds out into the grass was frowned upon…that is what the newspaper was for.
By the time I was finishing high school, watermelon was often served at summer parties as little melon balls that were piled back into a scooped out watermelon shell. That was a definite step up from just a plain slice of watermelon that was usually eaten in Texas.
Once married and living in Florida, when my husband and I were invited to an adult summer pool party, a popular item found at the outdoor buffet table was a drunken watermelon salad. This salad was often served in a fancily carved watermelon shell that looked like a beautiful basket. It was composed of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, green and red grapes that had been marinated in vodka and different fruit juices.
The way watermelon is served may change over the years but it is still a summertime favorite no matter how it is eaten. My salad is served on a bed of arugula and mixed baby greens tossed with a lime mint vinaigrette. It has a mix of sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavors that I believe you and your guests will enjoy. What is nice about this quick and easy salad is that it can all be prepped ahead of time and put together right before serving your guests.
Watermelon Salad With Honey Spice Pecans And Blue Cheese
Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly
- 2 c. cubed and deseeded watermelon
- 3 c. baby arugula
- 3 c. mixed baby greens
- 1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese or to taste
- 1/3 c. spiced pecan halves or to taste (use recipe found here made only with pecans)
- 1 Tbsp. honey, more or less
- Lime and mint vinaigrette – recipe below
Place the spiced pecans in a small bowl, drizzle with the honey and stir until well coated. Place the arugula and mixed greens in a large salad bowl and toss with a little of the vinaigrette. Divide the greens between two salad plates, top with the watermelon, sprinkle with the blue cheese and top with the honeyed pecans. Drizzle the salad with the remainder of the vinaigrette and serve.
Lime and Mint Vinaigrette
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. honey, more or less
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all the ingredients of the vinaigrette together to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and set aside.
There are many variables to the watermelon salad. You could substitute gorgonzola, feta or goat cheese for the blue cheese. The nuts give a nice contrast of textures in the salad but if you don’t care for pecans, you could substitute them with spiced walnuts, cashews or other nuts of your choice. Serve this watermelon salad on a pretty plate and surprise you guests with a summer dish that they may not have experienced before. With the honey spiced pecans and the blue cheese crumbles, I’m sure they will love this unusual and different combination.