Watermelon, Queso Fresco and Mint Salad

by Marcela Valladolid 9:18 AM, May 11, 2017

Aired September 6, 2017

Serves 8 to 10

“All of a sudden watermelon salads are everywhere. I grew up eating watermelon sprinkled with salt, so I’m used to the savory profile, but, until recently, had never really had it with cheese and/or greens. It’s just an incredibly light and refreshing combo that’s great for an outdoor summer party. For a nicer presentation, carefully scoop out the watermelon flesh and use the hollowed-out watermelon as a serving dish. If it’s moving around too much because of the round base, just cut a sliver off the bottom to flatten.”


8 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup peeled and cubed jicama
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (preferably cut into chiffonade)
1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon sliced scallion, white and pale green parts only
1 jalapeňo chile, seeded, deveined and minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint


Combine the watermelon and jicama in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, basil, lime zest, chives, scallions and jalapeño. Mix well to evenly incorporate.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice and lemon juice, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the watermelon-jicama mixture. Toss in the crumbled queso fresco and mint. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve in the hollowed-out watermelon halves immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 hours.


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