Melon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Watermelon and Melon Shot

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
45 min
Cook:
55 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For pickled watermelon rind:
  • Rind from 1/3 of a watermelon, reserve flesh for the salad
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 whole clove
  • For melon shots:
  • 3 Galia melons
  • 12 to 20 mint leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • For the salad:
  • 2 whole Charentais melons
  • 1/3 of a watermelon, reserved from pickling
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 4 small heirloom tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 4 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
  • 2 mint leaves, cut in chiffonade
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic syrup or aged balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
Directions
  • Refreshing, light, and vegetarian, this dish by Luce Chef Dominique Crenn incorporates two of summer's best ingredients -- melons and tomatoes. The pickled watermelon must be salted overnight, so plan accordingly. This makes for a great first-course or light lunch.

  • To prepare pickled watermelon rind: Trim off skin, and cut rind into 1-inch cubes. Sprinkle pickling salt over rinds and refrigerate overnight.

  • The next day, rinse the rind, and drain well. Cover rind with cold water in a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat just until tender.

  • In another pan, heat sugar and vinegar to a boil. Tie mustard seeds, cinnamon and clove in a cheesecloth. Place in the sugar-vinegar mixture to infuse it. Add watermelon rinds, and simmer about 35 to 50 minutes until rind is transparent. Remove spice bag, and let rinds cool in the mixture.

  • To prepare melon shots: Peel and slice Galia melons. Place melon in a blender with mint leaves and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a coffee filter or sieve. Refrigerate until serving.

  • To prepare the salad: Using a small melon ball scoop, make melon balls from the Charentais melons. With a small cylindrical cookie cutter, cut small cylinders from the watermelon. Alternatively, you can use a melon ball scoop to make small balls instead.

  • In a bowl, mix melon balls and cylinders with orange juice, as well as orange and lime zests, to taste.

  • In another bowl, toss tomatoes with basil, mint, olive oil, balsamic syrup, sea salt, and pepper.

  • To serve: Mix together melon balls and tomato salad. Place in the center of a serving plate. Arrange pickled watermelon rinds around the melon-salad mixture. Pour chilled melon juice into shot glasses or martini glasses. Serve.


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