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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.

Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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cucumber water
  • 2 large cucumbers (about 1 1/4 pounds)—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) seedless red watermelon
  • 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) seedless yellow watermelon
  • 1 1/2 pounds red tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • One large cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups baby salad greens


  1. In a blender, puree the cucumbers with the sugar, rice vinegar and salt. Strain the puree through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Refrigerate the cucumber water until chilled.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the red and yellow watermelon with the tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and tarragon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and for up to 6 hours.
  3. Shortly before serving, light a grill or heat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the pure olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp over high heat until browned and just cooked, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Spoon the watermelon salad into 4 shallow bowls. Arrange the grilled shrimp on top. Ladle the cucumber water into each bowl, top with the baby salad greens and serve.

Make Ahead

The cucumber water can be made up to 1 day ahead. Stir before adding to the salad.

Contributed By Photo © Richard Jung Published July 2002

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