This pretty Grilled Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Watercress Salad is a delicious way to enjoy Summer watermelon, featuring grilled watermelon, fresh watercress, pepper-crusted goat cheese, prosciutto, pistachios and a bit of olive oil and balsamic.
This post is sponsored by watermelon.org. As always, all opinions are my own.
It’s hard to resist summer watermelon and we certainly eat a lot here, fresh and cool from the refrigerator. Watermelon is 92% water, so it’s a great way to beat the heat and for staying hydrated and regulating body temperature. It’s also low in calories and fat, so it’s always a guilt-free choice.
Selecting the perfect watermelon is as easy as 1, 2, 3
- Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
- Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water; most of the weight is water.
- Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Watermelon Prep and Storage Tips
- Wash watermelon in clean, running water.
- Use clean knives and cutting surfaces.
- Watermelon can be stored *uncut at room temperature for 7-10 days.
- Once cut, watermelon can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a plastic container or plastic wrap.
- Because watermelon is 92% water, it freezes well.
For my recipe today, I decided to grill my watermelon and make a salad with one of my favourite greens – watercress. Grilling watermelon produces something akin to seared meat. When heated, much of the water of the watermelon is cooked off, leaving a more dense and with a caramelized sugar flavour, as the natural watermelon sugars cook on the outside.
The grilled watermelon is also combined with pepper-crusted goat cheese, pistachios, a pretty prosciutto rose on the side and just a bit of balsamic and olive oil. It’s a super easy salad and perfect for summer entertaining.
Cook’s Notes for Grilled Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Watercress Salad
It takes longer for the watermelon to grill than you may think. It spends the first part of the grilling time cooking off moisture, before it will start to actually grill. Allow about 10 minutes or so, but watch closely to ensure it doesn’t char too much once the moisture cooks off.
Grilled Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Watercress Salad
- 1- inch thick slices of fresh watermelon cut into rounds with a glass, ring or cookie cutter
- 3 oz. log of goat cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- Fresh watercress
- Prosciutto slices
- Olive oil
- Balsamic glaze*
Heat BBQ or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly grease BBQ or grill pan with a bit of oil. Place watermelon pieces on grill and grill until grill marks show on the underside. Flip and grill the other side. Remove to a plate to cool. Can be made ahead. Simply cool, cover and refrigerate.
Prepare the goat cheese by cutting log in to 3/4-inch rounds. Grind some pepper on to a flat plate and roll the goat cheese round edges in to the pepper, to crust the outside edge. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
To make the prosciutto roses: Place a slice of prosciutto in front of you, with the long side facing you and the flat bottom length closest to you. Fold 1/3 of the prosciutto slice up. Starting with the short end, roll the prosciutto loosely, until it is all rolled up. Gently loosen the top of the rose shape to form a rose. Set aside.
When ready to plate your salad. Clean and dry watercress and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss. Place watercress along one side of your plate. Place grilled watermelon round on plate and top with pepper-crusted goat cheese round. Place prosciutto rose next to the watermelon. Place 5 or 6 drops of balsamic glaze along the open side of the plate. Use a skewer or toothpick to run through the middle of each drop, in a line, to make a heart-like shape. Sprinkle watercress and goat cheese with chopped pistachios.
*Balsamic glaze is a reduced and sweetened balsamic vinegar, that is thicker than balsamic vinegar. It is available in with the balsamic vinegar in most stores. Look for a small bottle.