On a hot summer day, watermelon makes for a particularly refreshing, stand-out salad ingredient. Plus it's easier than ever to cut into cubes thanks to melon master Justin Chapple's killer new trick for no-mess diced watermelon! Here are F&W's best salads where watermelon plays the lead:
1. Watermelon Salad with Feta
The combination of sweet watermelon, salty olives and creamy feta makes this salad from cookbook author Melissa Clark addictive.
2. Thai Chicken and Watermelon Salad
For this recipe, summer watermelon and chicken come together in a puckery salad dressing made with lime juice and fish sauce.
3. Watermelon Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Chef Grant Achatz says of this salad: "I think shellfish benefits from a little sweetness." He suggests draining the fruit in a colander after you cut it, for a cleaner presentation.
4. Watermelon, Feta and Charred Pepper Salad
Best New Chefs 2014 Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern update the classic combination of watermelon, feta and olives with smoky charred shishito peppers, fresh herbs and spicy Korean red chile powder.
5. Watermelon and Papaya Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette
This refreshing and complex salad—made with jicama, watermelon, papaya and a bold tequila-based vinaigrette—usually includes little pieces of deep-fried tortilla rounds. To keep the ingredient list in check, omit the deep-fried tortillas (or opt for store-bought chips).
6. Thai-Style Radish and Watermelon Salad
According to Tom Colicchio, "Radishes are the unsung heroes of the vegetable world." Here, he tosses them with watermelon, chiles and an Asian fish sauce dressing for a refreshing salad.
7. Caramelized Watermelon Salad with Pickled Jalapeños and Gorgonzola
Sugar-crusted watermelon resembles a seared tuna steak in this dynamic dish.