A Salad of Lettuces, Fennel, Radish with a Watermelon Juice Vinaigrette

Who knew I’d be testing a watermelon recipe in May!  I’m attending a writer’s retreat this weekend, http://www.eatwriteretreat.com, and was placed into a group of 4 women bloggers for a cooking competition.  Our task was to come up with recipes using sponsor ingredients; one of which is watermelon.  OMG! Watermelon in May you ask?  Well, we all went back and forth on the best way to utilize the watermelon especially since it is out-of-season. 
After some brainstorming, vigorous debate and the fact that I was the only one who could purchase watermelon at the market (living in Texas) I assumed the task of coming up with a recipe.  It’s a 3-stepper:  making watermelon juice,  a vinaigrette out of it & bringing the lettuces and vegetables together.  Here’s to a fabulous collaboration, winning the competition and having a super delicious summer salad to share in May.  Rockin’ it with watermelon!

Salad Ingredients

6C of baby lettuces 
2C of fresh fennel, shaved (whole bulb with fronds)
1C of fresh radishes, shaved
1C of fresh watermelon, minced-1/8"to 1/4” pieces
1/4 to 1/2C of Watermelon Vinaigrette
1/2C Insalate ricotta (optional)
1/4C of basil, julienne 
Fennel Flowers or yellow edible organic flowers


Place lettuces in a medium size mixing bowl. Drizzle ¼ of the watermelon vinaigrette over lettuces and gently toss so that vinaigrette surrounds the leaves.  Place sliced fennel & radishes in a small bowl.  Drizzle 1/8C of the watermelon vinaigrette over the vegetables.  Toss lightly so that all the vegetables are covered with vinaigrette.  Add a drizzle more if necessary.  Place dressed lettuce leaves onto a serving platter.  Gently place dressed fennel/radishes on top of the lettuces.  Fluff so that the fennel/radish mixture does not press down on the lettuces too much.  Sprinkle insalate ricotta & basil across the top of salad.  Garnish with fennel flowers or organic flowers.  Serve immediately.

Watermelon Juice & Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette 

1/4C watermelon juice
1tsp honey balsamic
1/2C mild extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Salt & fresh ground Pepper
Place all ingredients into a 1-2C size container with lid.  Cap tightly and shake vigorously until liquids are incorporated.  Serve with lettuces of your choice.

For Watermelon Juice

Place watermelon in a blender. Puree watermelon until liquid. Pour watermelon juice through a medium sieve.  Pour first run sieved watermelon juice through a smaller sieve.  Skim foam off top of watermelon juice. Chill.  Juice can be kept for up to 3 days refrigerated or 1 month frozen.

*slice fennel & radish with a mandoline so that they are translucent
*place sliced fennel & radish in an ice bath to keep color, freshness & crisp
*using a seedless watermelon is always easier
* the smaller “personal” watermelons you can purchase in the stores now are a perfect size for this recipe (you’ll have only “some” left-over)