There’s a reason why I cannot watch Giada de Laurentiis’ travel show on the Food Network – namely because it puts ideas in my head of different flavor combinations and then I turn into the kitchen chemist with a theory of “little bit of this” and “let’s put in some more of that” and I don’t measure. Ugh!
Anywhoo – Giada happened to be visiting the Hamptons on this particular episode and she had a watermelon salad with some ricotta salata, red onion and arugula. Wait – did she say my favorite green – arugula? My ears perked up, I rewound the DVR and paid attention, notebook in hand. What a great idea! I am not too fond of feta and, since ricotta salata was mentioned as being similar, I figured, why the heck not. I keep most of the ingredients in my fridge anyway – all I needed to pick up was the cheese and the mint for the 4th of July soiree.
This Watermelon Salad with Ricotta Salata was a raving success. My friends went bananas for it and this salad has started a brand new love affair with watermelon. Who knew that something so savory could also be so refreshing.
For your next cookout, instead of the typical, whip up this Watermelon Salad with Ricotta Salata and I guarantee, there will be no leftovers!
On to the recipe:
Gather your ingredients
Let’s add a bit of lime shall we?
Now – don’t you want some of this at your next BBQ?
Inspired by Giada's Weekend Getaways
This cool and refreshing summer salad melds savory and sweet between the crisp sweet watermelon, peppery arugula and shaved ricotta salata. This will be your go-to summer salad.
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1 small seedless watermelon, rind removed and diced/cubed into bite size pieces (should be 3-4 cups or one medium size “tub” from the grocery store)
- I small red onion
- 1/2 cup of ricotta salata, shaved (I used a vegetable peeler)
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 3-4 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 cup of baby arugula
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Dice the red onion into a small dice and add to a bowl.
- If you want to take the bite off the onion, you can juice the lime directly into the red onion and let the onion marinate for 15 minutes or so. I like the raw bite so I tend to skip the marination part of things.
- After 15 minutes, add the olive oil to the onion and toss.
- Add the red onion, including the lime juice marinade to the cubed watermelon.
- Add the shaved ricotta salata, zest and mint and toss all ingredients together.
- Season to taste with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add the arugula, toss together one more time and enjoy!
Inspired by “The Hamptons” episode of Giada’s Weekend Adventures
[Note: This recipe originally appeared on Cooking in Stilettos in July 2009; it has been updated to reflect the changes I have incorporated over the years as well as new photos. It’s still one of my absolute favorite summer salads and often requested by friends and family.]
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