Watercress Salad with Watermelon
and Sweet-Sour Onion
with a Very Simple Vinagrette


The idea of using watermelon in a savory way was something I learned at an early age, as I watched my grandfather eat his watermelon with salt and pepper. So it really bummed me out one day when I walked into the restaurant of my friend Gordon Hamersley and saw on the menu a savory watermelon salad. Why hadn't I thought of that? Since that time I have used Gordon's idea so often that I have a hard time remembering that it wasn't my own idea to begin with. It's truly delicious, but if for some reason you don't like it, that's when I'll remember that it was Gordon's concept; you should give him a call at his outstanding eatery in Boston's South End.

Serves 4 to 6

Best substitute greens: Dandelion greens, Arugula, Mizuna, Baby kale, Baby collards, Belgian endive.


For the dressing
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the salad

1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 medium limes)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bunch watercress, trimmed, washed, and dried
1 loosely packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried
1 cup diced watermelon, in 1/2-inch cubes, seeds removed

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the onion, lime juice, vinegar, and sugar and set aside for 2 hours.

3. In a large bowl, combine the watercress, parsley, and watermelon. Add just enough dressing to moisten the ingredients (there will be some dressing left over) and toss to coat. Place the salad on a large platter or individual serving plates. Drain the onion, place on top of the salad, and serve.


Recipe from:
Lettuce in Your Kitchen
by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughy
William Morrow & Company, Inc.
1998, Softcover, US $10.00
Recipes & photos reprinted by permission


Lettuce in Your Kitchen



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