Big Salad with Watermelon, Candied Walnuts and Blue Cheese


Having done a watermelon show in Edmonton last week, I find myself in the possession of more watermelons than I might otherwise have at one time to feed a family of 3. And, having not dropped them to save my pants from falling down last week, I feel particular pressure to do something with them, lest my humiliation be for nothing.

It turns out cubed watermelon makes a great addition to salads. Think about it – they are slightly sweet, crunchy, watery – a far better crouton for a hot summer day, don’t you think? This particular salad was built (as usual) on a mesclun mix, this time plucked cautiously (there aren’t many leaves there) from the pots on my patio; to it I added cubes of watermelon, a small handful of halved grapes, crumbled blue cheese (although feta or goat cheese would have been delicious too), and candied walnuts. For these particular candied walnuts, I toasted about a cup in a skillet (I like to make more than I need, to take me through several salads), then added 1/4 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of soy sauce (which adds flavour and salt), tossed it about until the sugar melted and coated the walnuts, then took them off the heat and allowed them to cool. That’s it. To dress: balsamic vinaigrette: canola oil, a drizzle of flax oil (1 tsp. has the same omega 3s as a filet of salmon), balsamic vinegar, a squirt of grainy mustard and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey – my standard. I shake it all up in one of those IKEA dressing bottles, and if I want it garlicky, squish a clove and stick it in without pressing it – it’s too big to come through the nozzle, so it infuses the dressing with garlic without contributing raw garlic chunks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

(And speaking of watermelon salads – I think I told you last year about one that completely blew me away – just chunked watermelon and feta, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. If you had some fresh mint in your garden, that would be a nice addition too.)

And while I have your ear, I just have to share a few quotes from W in the past 24 hours:

Grabbing onto me at the park: “oooh Mom, you’re nice and squishy!” Super.

In the car: “Mom, what does meat say?” (Me: “Moo.”) W: “No… it says ‘hi, I’m delicious!’.”

Tonight, pre-bath: “Hey, how about you be the Terminator, and I’ll be the cupcakes rolling down the hill. Ready? Go!”

Honestly, I don’t remember improv day in drama class being this complex. What does one do when one is the Terminator upon encountering cupcakes rolling down a hill? (Apparently W has a very clear view of this scenario, and I was doing it entirely wrong.)

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34 comments on “Big Salad with Watermelon, Candied Walnuts and Blue Cheese

  1. Avery
    August 20, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I think I’ve had glorious dreams of being caught in an avalanche of cupcakes… or was that a nightmare??

  2. Elizabeth L.
    August 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    What a fabulous boy you have! There is nothing better than a child with a sense of humour and a great imagination. The salad sounds pretty good as well…

  3. margo
    August 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I love how his imagination is infused with food imagery!! Hmmm… 🙂 So Fun!

  4. Terri
    August 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Well that ‘W’ is certainly the son of Mike & Julie! ( great imagination etc…! ) How does he feel about Star Wars? 😉

  5. Kristilyn (Domestic Goddess)
    August 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

    What cute quotes from your boy! I loved the ‘Super’ after the first comment – too funny!

    I’ve never thought to add watermelon to a salad, but I’ve definitely seen it. That and mixing it with vinegars, mint, cilantro – you name it!

    My husband and I had a watermelon recently, and no desire to eat it, so we made it into drinks for the night by the fire. Watermelon blended with other frozen fruits, a little Sprite (since we were trying to get rid of it), and Vodka. It was great! The husband even drank it.



  6. Cheryl Arkison
    August 21, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Mmm, now I’m craving a watermelon milkshake for some reason. And watermelon, feta, and black olice salad. There’s my dinner, all brought to me by watermelon.

  7. Amanda
    August 21, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I’m going to embroider that 3rd quote onto something… that’s just too awesome…

  8. Cheryl Arkison
    August 21, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Sorry, I meant olive.

  9. Sarah
    August 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

    When my kids were little, I kept (still do) a blank journal in the kitchen, and when they would say something funny I’d write it down with the date. I put them on the back of our Xmas letter every year. Unfortunately, now that they are mostly grown, their funny comments would curl the hair of the elderly aunties, so my advice is write them down now, before tequila slammers figure too heavily…

  10. Jennifer
    August 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I tried a watermelon and feta salad a few nights ago for the first time and am enamored with the flavor and texture combo. Now I delight in the idea of your candied walnuts and blue cheese pairing.

    Thanks for sharing W’s quotes. I especially enjoy the “hi, I’m delicious” mention. Too cute!

  11. Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I have never tried watermelon in a green salad but I quite often eat it with cottage cheese. But, I agree completely with your reasoning as to why it would be delicious.

    I would have not dropped the watermelon, either. A girl must have her priorities.

  12. angiebean
    August 22, 2009 at 8:45 am

    That salad looks amazing!

  13. Ashley
    August 23, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Oh this salad sounds perfect! Love the terminator and cupcake quote, so cute.

  14. Cynthia
    August 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Made this for the past two days. I’ve never had a better tasting salad! Love It!

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