Nothing says summer like a great big juicy sweet watermelon and with the hot weather we're finally getting around here, I'm craving it! Growing up, my grandpa used to sprinkle his with a little bit of salt which I never understood--as a child I was all about the "sweet". In my older years, I totally get it...salty AND sweet is multitudes better when used together than either one standing alone! For my "salty" in this salad, I used proscuitto, which turns out so light and crispy when prepared this way and pairs perfectly with the sweet juiciness of the watermelon. So, invite your best friend over this weekend, go out on the back porch and enjoy this fabulous summer salad and some great conversation!
6 oz organic baby greens
3 oz thinly sliced proscuitto
1 lb watermelon, cubed
1/2 cup fennel bulb, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped for garnish
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Proscuitto: In a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat brown proscuitto on both sides until it turns a deep golden color, about 5-7 minutes. As shown, you may need to use a small spatula to press down on proscuitto to allow for even browning.
Chopping Fennel: Cut bottom and stalks off of fennel bulb. Slice bulb in half. Remove inner core as shown. Slice or chop as desired. Inhale. Inhale again. Isn't that a lovely smell?
Assemble salads by adding a handful of greens to each plate. Top with watermelon, fennel, feta and crumbled proscuitto. Lightly drizzle salad with olive oil and balsamic reduction. Top with freshly ground black pepper, chopped fennel fronds and toasted almonds, if using. This salad is perfect for a warm summer afternoon...light and refreshing!