Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Lydia Degaris Pursell
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
35 Mins
Makes 8 servings

Not your mother's fruit salad. A cold, thick, steak-like slice of ripe watermelon pairs unexpectedly well with salty Cotija cheese and a smoky vinaigrette. Also try it with leftover grilled chicken or beef.

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a glass bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours. (Mixture can be made and chilled up to 2 days ahead.) Remove onions from marinade, discarding marinade.

Step 2

Toss together greens, cheese, 1 cup red onions, and desired amount of dressing in a large bowl. Top each watermelon slice with 1 1/2 cups greens mixture. Sprinkle with pepitas. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette and onions.

Ratings & Reviews

Kaseyshealth's Review

July 26, 2014
We just finished eating this recipe along with Mesquite grilled chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. I'm very torn over this recipe. The dressing recipe makes a LARGE amount! If I made it again, I would cut it down to a 1/4 of the size. It made a 16 oz container and I only used about 2 TBS to dress our salad perfectly. This is a BEAUTIFUL dish! It looks so pretty and appetizing on a plate. Taking my first bite I was impressed with the freshness of the watermelon, salty crunch of the pepitas and the smokiness of the dressing. I used micro greens and arugula. Next time I would use just baby romaine due to bitterness of the greens. I think my issue is that I couldn't eat a ton of this dish with the dressing having such a powerful presence. I think if the dressing had a lighter, fruity flavor instead of the punch of the smoky paprika it would be outstanding. I would cut the paprika in half and sub with honey vinegar or balsamic next time.

keg0406's Review

June 28, 2014
Loved it - perfect summer salad! Used watercress, arugula and frisee. Tastebuds and hips are happy with this recipe!

stallings06's Review

August 04, 2013

LataMaryFields's Review

July 19, 2013
Very delicious! Perfect summer food.

SSE408's Review

July 08, 2013
simple and delicious