The second recipe piques everyone’s interest: Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad. Grilled watermelon—who knew? Danielle refers to the wedges of super-sweet summer fruit as “watermelon steaks.” Grilling them caramelizes their sugars to harmonize with the spicy arugula and creamy, pungent blue cheese.
Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme
Salt and ground black pepper
12 to 16 (1-inch-thick) wedges ripe watermelon
Olive oil or canola oil
3 cups arugula
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese, divided in half
1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts
In bowl combine shallot and vinegar. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in 1⁄4 cup oil and thyme until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lightly brush watermelon wedges with additional oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. For charcoal grill, grill watermelon wedges, uncovered, directly over medium-hot coals 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly charred, turning once halfway through grilling. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place watermelon wedges on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.) Transfer to plate; reserve juices.
In medium bowl combine arugula and half the cheese. Add reserved juices from watermelon to dressing. Whisk to combine. Add half of dressing to arugula mixture; toss gently to coat.
Divide arugula mixture among salad plates. Top each with 2 watermelon wedges. Drizzle with additional dressing. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and nuts. Makes 6 to 8 salads.