End of Season Sale

We may still be speeding toward a few record high temperatures here in the South, but summer is now officially visible in the rear view mirror. It's over, people. Move along. There's nothing left to see here.

I struggle during the time it takes my appetite to make the transition from one season to the next, running the gamut between noshing on fruits and vegetables and gorging myself on stick-to-your-ribs hearty, heavy meals. I'm well aware that typical summer fruits and vegetable are available year round thanks to the modern means of transportation, but there's just something unnatural about eating a watermelon when the air is just as chilled as the melon.

I make no secret of liking my watermelon straight up with a pinch of salt and nothing else. No frills, no fluff, no stuff. There's no sense in messing up a naturally good thing so I'm not sure why I felt compelled to combine my most favorite summertime treat with the savoriness of Gorgonzola cheese and red onion in the Watermelon Salad featured in the August 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. A reader had written in to request the recipe that she had tried at The Beach House Restaurant in Kauai, Hawaii. According to their menu, the restaurant's version of the salad includes carrots whereas BA's rendition does not. It also appears that it is such a requested recipe that it has been added to their website, probably since the BA article was published. No matter which version you try, I think you'll enjoy the combination of sweet, savory, and fresh.

Farewell Summer 2010!

Watermelon Salad
Bon Appetit, August 2008
Serves 6-8

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tbls. balsamic vinegar
2 tbls. white balsamic vinegar
6 tbls. vegetable oil

Caramelized Macadamia Nuts
1 tbls. butter
2 tbls. packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Salad
2-1/2 to 3 lbs. watermelon, cut into 1/2" thick triangles, rind removed
5 to 6 ounces bag or container mixed baby greens or arugula
3/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

For dressing, puree first 4 ingredients in blender until smooth. With machine running, gradually add oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For nuts, melt butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and stir to blend. Add nuts and stir to coat. Transfer to plate and cool. Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For salad, arrange watermelon slices around edges of plates and toss greens in large bowl with dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with cheese, red onion, and caramelized nuts over.

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