Spicy-Sweet-Sour Watermelon Salad

Now that summer has reared its elusive head here in Vancouver, we’re having a hard time staying away from the back patio! I’ve been trying some new summery dishes and this watermelon salad is a new favourite: it’s simple to make but has quite a complex flavour.  The recipe comes via Vegetarian Times magazine, which is such a great source for simple, meat-free dishes. The extra nice thing about this dish is that you can make it an hour or so before dinner – the watermelon marinates in the lime juice in the fridge.

To serve four with medium-sized portions:

2 cups of watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the juice, oil, and zest together in a bowl. Lay out the watermelon in a baking dish in a single layer. Pour the liquid over the watermelon and let sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

To put the salad together, combine the watermelon chunks and the leftover marinade in a bowl along with thin slices of jalapeno pepper (I do about 12 or so slices – no more than one pepper), a few twists from the salt grinder, and a tablespoon of sesame seeds (black or white will do).  Slice some basil into thin strips and place in a bowl for people to garnish their salads with.

Voila!

A note about the jalapeno: the original recipe says to lay the jalapeno slices at the bottom of each serving bowl and then lay the watermelon chunks on top. I tried it this way and I found that the spiciness from the jalapeno was almost undetectable this way. Also, laying out the salad bowls beforehand is too much work, in my opinion! For a less fussy affair, throw it all together in a bowl and let the guests serve themselves!

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