Watermelon and Cress Salad with Grilled Shrimp


Watermelon’s crunch and subtle sweetness provide a nice contrast to the savory, tender shrimp and hearts of palm. Ricotta salata (salted, pressed fresh ricotta) is similar to feta in texture but not as salty.

 salad with tomato, shrimp and watermelon

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.), peeled and deveined, tails left intact
3 canned hearts of palm, drained and patted dry (about half a 14-oz. can)
1 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. minced shallot
6 oz. watercress or upland cress, separated into small sprigs, thicker stems trimmed
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, thinly sliced
12 oz. watermelon, thinly sliced into narrow wedges, rind removed, seeded if necessary
3 oz. ricotta salata, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 tsp. of the mustard, the lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss the shrimp in the marinade and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers. Toss the hearts of palm with 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp and hearts of palm, flipping once, until they have nice grill marks and the shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. When cool enough to handle, halve the hearts of palm lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into thirds. Remove the shrimp from the skewers.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tsp. mustard with the vinegar, shallot, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil in a thin stream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the cress and basil with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat. Season to taste with salt. Divide the greens between 2 plates. Top with the watermelon wedges and drizzle lightly with the remaining dressing. Top with the hearts of palm, shrimp, and crumbled ricotta salata.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 550; Fat (g): 44; Fat Calories (kcal): 390; Saturated Fat (g): 10; Protein (g): 28; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 27; Carbohydrates (g): 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 1780; Cholesterol (mg): 160; Fiber (g): 3;
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