I love watermelon in a salad; it’s great with cheese and nuts and I especially love this Watermelon Salad with Toasted Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese. Sweet and savory alike, it’s simply delicious.
Here we are, the last Tuesday of the month which means it’s Progressive Eats time again. I hope you enjoy these posts when my friends and I share a variety of foods that follow a theme. Have anything you would love to see featured? Let me know!
This month the theme for Progressive Eats was selected by Carol who blogs at From A Chef’s Kitchen. She made everyone happy when she decided we should concentrate on watermelon; glorious summer watermelon. I love those red, juicy slices but I also refuse to eat it until now. It’s like tomatoes; you can find it out of season but it’s not worth it. I want a ripe, red, juicy watermelon with real flavor that’s drips all over me and my kitchen, not a wimpy pink thing that’s mealy and miserable. Are you with me?
This salad has long been a favorite; I’ve been making it at least once a summer ever since it appeared in the pages of Southern Living in 2008. I may have made some minor changes over the years but the one thing I haven’t done is to make it at a time that worked for sharing it here. Sometimes I actually make dishes for friends and events and we just eat; no photos, no stories, just getting together around the table and enjoying some great food.
It was at a recent barbecue that I took this salad to where everyone raved about it so it moved into my ‘must make’ list for sharing it here with readers.
It’s simple too; watermelon is peeled and cut into 1/2″ squares, pecans are toasted and a dressing is made. Putting it together is just combining those ingredients with some hunks of Gorgonzola cheese and you’re set. It’s so fresh and flavorful that I could forgo having it on the side and simply make it my only course. The dressing has some salt in it but I thought the salad needed a touch more, however, test it first and season it to fit your own needs.
The salad dressing calls for Pepper Jelly; I had a jar of this Harry and David Pepper and Onion Relish and thought it perfect but most stores carry the basic pepper jelly too so it’s easy to find.
I made the salad yesterday morning because I was concerned about the light for photos; the forecast was for some gloom.
Once done, I had a completed salad with no company to help me eat it. What do I do? I put the word out on a Facebook page I made for my street; we plan neighborhood things there sure but it’s also where you might get a notice that Barb has a salad or a cocktail…fun huh? Five minutes and half of it was gone…perfect!
PIN ‘Watermelon Salad with Toasted Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese’
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features Watermelon and our host this month is Carol who blogs at From A Chef’s Kitchen.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious summer dishes!
- Honey and Lime Melon Skewers with Mint – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Watermelon Salad with Toasted Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese – Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
- Watermelon and Burrata Salad – The Redhead Baker
- Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Watermelon – Tomato Salsa – From A Chef’s Kitchen
- Grilled Watermelon Scallop Shish Kabobs – Mother Would Know
- Wazpacho AKA Watermelon Gazpacho – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
For the Salad
- 5 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
- 6 oz Mixed greens
- 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
For Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup pepper jelly
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp grated onion
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Make Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- Whisk together first 6 ingredients.
- Add oil in a steady stream and whisk while pouring into the other ingredients.
Prepare the salad
- Combine watermelon and greens in a large bowl; add all but 1/4 cup vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat.
- Transfer watermelon mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cheese. Season to taste with additional salt.
- Pass additional dressing on the side.
There are a ton of different Red Pepper Jellies available; mine was from Harry and David but still the same basic ingredients (Red Bell Peppers and Jalapeno) as most others and available at grocery stores.
The Harry and David product was jammy and had chunks of both peppers in it so I had to put everything into the blender to get it smooth but I've had jelly before too and then blending it would not have been required.