Last weekend my wonderful mother-in-law came to visit and brought us a gorgeous watermelon grown old world style by an 80-year-old man in Paso Robles, California where she lives. I knew I had to do something special with it, so I put this mama brain to use brainstorming ideas. Then, as I was scrolling through the copious amount of food feeds I follow on Instagram, I saw a gorgeous platter of grilled watermelon. GENUIS! I know this was the direction I wanted to go because I’m in love with all things grilled, and I’ve spent this summer so far (when not nursing or loving on a tiny human) trying to master the grill (note: I am still a work in progress when it comes to most meat, but I’ve got burgers and now watermelon down!).
The outcome of this adventure was a knock out of the park. Grilling a super sweet watermelon only makes it sweeter. I knew, though, that I wanted more. I wanted to pair the delicious sweet of the watermelon with some of my other favorite flavors. Enter feta, basil, and balsamic – salty, aromatic, and perfectly sweet with a hint of bitter. It’s a match made in heaven and much simpler than it sounds. This is the dish I’ll bring to our next BBQ invite (now they’ll come rushing in I bet). So give this a go for a unique twist on an old summer favorite.
Enjoy and happy grilling!
Grilled Watermelon Salad
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 2 ½ lb sweet watermelon, preferably seedless
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
WHAT YOU DO:
- set your grill to high
- pour vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring with a spoon until reduced to a syrupy consistency (don’t heat too long or it will harden)
- slice watermelon into about 1″ thick wedges, and brush both sides of melon with 1 TB olive oil
- grill watermelon about 2 minutes per side, until grill marks appear (don’t grill it too long or it will get mushy.)
- move melon to a sheet pan and season with salt to taste then cut into cubes
- place cubes in a dish, drizzle with balsamic reduction and another TB olive oil
- crumble the feta all over the watermelon and sprinkle with the chopped basil
I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you are inspired by this recipe and give grilling watermelon a shot, I’d love to see photos. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Happy summer, friends! Live rad.