Hydrating? Check—watermelon is over 90 percent water. Nutritious? Check—the pink flesh is packed with vitamins A, C, and B6 to help boost immunity, decrease inflammation, and promote recovery. Recent studies also show that watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid linked to relieving muscle soreness. Scrumptious and delightful? Double check—the juicy summer staple is fresh, in season, affordable, and makes a dish pop. Survey says: It’s time to get your watermelon on.
Watermelon Panzanella Salad
Substitute bread cubes with watermelon for a refreshing and flavor-filled take on panzanella—it’s so tasty, you won’t even miss the bread.
Makes 4 servings
1 cup bocconcini mozzarella, cut in half 3 T olive oil
2 T aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 heaping cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 cup heirloom tomato, cut into 1-inch pieces
cup roasted peppers, drained and sliced 1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced
1⁄2 cup fresh basil, julienned
8 cups arugula
2 T toasted pine nuts
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper, then toss with the mozzarella. Let marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
Place the watermelon cubes in a colander over a bowl, and let drain. Save juice for drinking or smoothies.
In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, basil, and arugula.
Once drained, toss in watermelon.
Add the mozzarella, with marinade, and toss until the arugula and other ingredients are coated.
Serve individual servings with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a sprinkling of pine nuts.
Serving Recommendation: Grill jumbo shrimp, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper for 90 seconds per side, over high heat. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top.