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Grilled Watermelon Salad

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Who ever heard of grilled watermelon, anyway? It seems like something someone would try to make you do as a joke, right? But I assure you, it’s totally do-able, and it’s absolutely delicious.

I’ve eaten watermelon my whole life. When I was a kid, my mom told me that you had to add salt to it, as that was just how it was done. So for a long time, I didn’t really like it. But at some point, a cousin told me that she’d never heard of someone adding salt to watermelon. So I tried it again by itself, and my world changed!

Suddenly, I was all in on this yummy fruit!

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was those annoying black seeds that seemed to be everywhere. Imagine how awesome it was when I discovered SEEDLESS watermelon later in life. BOOM!

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

But all along, I never strayed from the tried and true tradition of slicing those big round fruits open, cutting them into one of three distinct shapes (circle, semicircle or triangle) and eating them raw. Anything else never occurred to me.

But one day, when I was out and about in London, I stopped into an upscale restaurant for dinner, and the chef selected our table to offer a selection of dishes to try out. Believe me when I say that I am NOT that person. I have never been a fancy lady dining in an upscale restaurant, and I’ve never been a gal with that kind of luck.

But somehow the stars aligned, and we got to eat all kinds of fun food that no one had ever had because the chef was working on a new menu. It was pretty awesome.

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

One of the dishes he served us (I say dishes, but if you’ve ever been selected for one of these tastings you’ll know you only get like one or two bites of each dish, so it’s more like a tiny tiny sample) was a GRILLED WATERMELON. My mind exploded!

It was my favorite childhood fruit, but COOKED.

I had no idea it was even possible. How did it not just disintegrate as soon as it was touched by heat??

I had no idea how he’d done it, but it was amazing. It was absolutely delicious, and I was so excited about it. I sent my compliments back to the chef immediately, and I told him how great it was.

Apparently, he was not as excited about my response, as he never came out to acknowledge me like he did for others who sent their regards. I was told that my enthusiasm meant less because I was American and therefore an uncultured swine… which… well, I accepted that because it was probably true. No one else was excited by watermelon.

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

ANYWAY….

The rest of the evening was lovely, and I enjoyed the food immensely, but I never could stop thinking about that grilled watermelon. I knew I wanted to try it for myself, so I went about trying different techniques for cooking watermelon until I came upon this one.

After working out flavor combinations I enjoyed, I finally settled on this one as my favorite. You get the sweet deliciousness of the watermelon and the saltiness of the fresh mozza. The bitterness of the spinach pairs with the sweet and sour of the balsamic. The whole thing plays beautifully on your tongue, and you end up with this mishmash of flavors that just overwhelm you in the best possible way.

And the textures! I can’t even describe it adequately. The fibrous watermelon is less watery because of the char on it, and with the mozzarella chewiness, it makes this really unique experience.

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

I like to reduce my own balsamic glaze, but you can absolutely buy it in store, as they make all sorts of different types of it now. And you’re not at all limited to using spinach. I have tried it with basil, kale, butter lettuce and other greens. Each has its own unique flavor.

You also can add it all into a bowl and eat it like a traditional salad. I simply enjoy creating my own little bites, as it brings me great joy. Your mileage may vary.

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own, if you choose to make it the same way I do.

8 oz whole Mozzarella cheese, cut into four smaller squares (length wise, they should be about 3”x3”)
½ large watermelon cut into 8 squares the same size as Mozzarella
2 C Spinach
½ C balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

To create the salad, here’s what you’ll do.

  • Turn your grill to high heat
  • Place balsamic in a small saucepan on medium heat
  • Bring balsamic to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thick like a syrup, three to five minutes.
  • Let cool
  • Drizzle watermelon with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Grill quickly, goal is to get a slight char grill mark.
  • Toss spinach with a tsp. of olive oil.
  • Season the spinach with salt and pepper
  • Place 3-4 spinach leaves on a plate or platter
  • Place watermelon squares on top of the spinach
  • Top with mozzarella and another watermelon square
  • Drizzle balsamic all over the watermelon
grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach

It looks good, right??

Honestly, it’s so delicious, and it is a perfect summer time lunch. I love it so much. It feels totally decadent, but it’s really so very simple. I highly recommend you try it. It’s not expensive, it doesn’t require anything fancy to make it, and it brings no small amount of joy to look at it and/or taste it.

If you do try it, I’ll love to hear your thoughts!

Give me a shout on instagram. I’m @homeishandmade.

grilled watermelon salad with mozzarella and spinach
Yield: 1 salad

Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mozzarella and Spinach

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole Mozzarella cheese, cut into four smaller squares (length wise, they should be about 3”x3”)
  • ½ large watermelon cut into 8 squares the same size as mozzarella
  • 2 C spinach
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to Taste
  • olive oil

Instructions

    1. Turn your grill to high heat
    2. Place balsamic in a small saucepan on medium heat
    3. Bring balsamic to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thick like a syrup, three to five minutes.
    4. Let cool
    5. Drizzle watermelon with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    6. Grill quickly, goal is to get a slight char grill mark.
    7. Toss spinach with a tsp. of olive oil.
    8. Season the spinach with salt and pepper
    9. Place 3-4 spinach leaves on a plate or platter
    10. Place watermelon squares on top of the spinach
    11. Top with mozzarella and another watermelon square
    12. Drizzle balsamic all over the watermelon

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1123Total Fat: 72gSaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 2178mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 9gSugar: 32gProtein: 69g

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