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Grilled Watermelon, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

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Crybaby

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Since it's way too hot for some of us to cook inside, I thought I'd post this grilled salad recipe from John Besh.  It's really good and pretty, too.

Grilled Watermelon, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe from “My New Orleans, The Cookbook” by John Besh. Serves 6.
 
The hotter the grill, the better the grill marks will be on the watermelon slices.  I like to brush spicy Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette over the melon before it’s grilled because the sugars quickly caramelize, imparting incredible flavor.  Feel free to substitute whatever vinaigrette you have on hand.
 
1/4 cup Basic Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
8 large slices seedless watermelon, 1/2 to 1-inch thick, rind removed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch sugar
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh basil, chopped
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cherry tomatoes (mixed colors and varieties)
2 or 3 handfuls young lettuces
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
Fresh herbs such as chives, chive blossoms, chervil, parsley and dill
 
1.      Light a charcoal or gas grill.  Brush the Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette over each watermelon slice.  Let the watermelon marinate for a few minutes before placing on the hot grill.  Grill each side of the watermelon slices for several minutes, remove, cut into large serving pieces, and arrange on a platter.
 
2.      Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar and basil in a small mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and toss to coat them well, and then scatter them over the grilled watermelon pieces on the platter.  Toss the lettuces in the vinaigrette remaining in the bowl.
 
3.      Crumble the goat cheese over the tomatoes and watermelon.  Scatter the dressed lettuces, then the fresh herbs, over the salad.
 
Basic Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
Recipe from “My New Orleans, The Cookbook” by John Besh.
Makes 2-1/2 cups.
 
*Note:  Sambal chile paste is made from small Thai chiles.  This paste can be made at home or purchased in the international section of most groceries.  An 8-oz. container is about $2.50
 
1/2 cup pepper jelly
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sambal chile paste*
1-1/2 cup canola oil
 
Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well mixed.  You will notice that, after whisking, the vinaigrette will begin to separate.  This will not matter but if it bothers you, give it a good whisk before you use it.  Or you can pour the vinaigrette into a squeeze bottle and give it a good shake before you squirt. 

bethk

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I tried grilled watermelon (sans the vinegarette) one time.  It was not at all what I thought it would taste like....didn't care for it at all.  Maybe it's time to try it again sometime.

Crybaby

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I tried grilled watermelon (sans the vinegarette) one time.  It was not at all what I thought it would taste like....didn't care for it at all.  Maybe it's time to try it again sometime.

It was funny, Beth, as after we made it, it started a big discussion at Brian's office.  One guy said it would be impossible to grill watermelon as it would dissolve and fall thru the grill!

Barbara101

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not going to grill it but I am going to use feta & sliced red onion & make a salad.sounds gross but it really is good lol

bethk

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I like the idea of the pepper jelly glaze to try on the grill again.

That sweet/spicy thing and then grilling over charcoal sounds very appealing to me.

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