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Caramelized Watermelon Salad with Pickled Jalapeños and Gorgonzola
© Marcus Nilsson

Caramelized Watermelon Salad with Pickled Jalapeños and Gorgonzola

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • VEGETARIAN

Though he's known as the "prince of pork," chef Jason Vincent knows his way around a salad. His sugar-crusted watermelon resembles a seared rare tuna steak in this dynamic dish.

  1. 1 cup Champagne vinegar
  2. 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 2 jalapeños, seeded and very thinly sliced
  5. 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  6. Six 3-inch squares of seedless, rindless watermelon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
  7. 2 cups baby arugula
  8. 2 cups baby sorrel leaves (see Note)
  9. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 1 scallion, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  12. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  13. 2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
  14. 2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, cut into 6 slices
  15. 2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the vinegar with the 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; microwave at high power until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the jalapeños and shallot and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot. Blot the watermelon dry with paper towels. Sprinkle one side only with a thin layer of sugar. Add the watermelon to the skillet, sugared side down, and cook over high heat just until the sugar is lightly caramelized, about 30 seconds. Transfer the watermelon to plates with a spatula, browned side up, and let cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and sorrel with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mound the greens on the watermelon and garnish with the pickled jalapeños and shallot and the scallion. Dollop the crème fraîche on top. Arrange the peaches and Gorgonzola on the plates and drizzle the honey all over. Serve right away.
Notes If sorrel is hard to find, double the arugula and toss with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.