Watermelon Salad with Lemon Chipotle Oil

This salad has the the perfect balance of sweet and juicy watermelon paired with a smoky citrus oil. This salad is lovely because as long as I have a watermelon and some mint I can make a version of this at any time. The mint really makes this salad and with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper…Voila. But with very few ingredients this salad can go from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I’ve been experimenting with this salad all summer trying to make it fresh and new every time, just to avoid the comment “watermelon salad again?” But this is my favorite version to date. We had some left over lemon chipotle oil from a risotto style barley we make quite often and it will be simple to duplicate since the oil is so easy to make.

Cube watermelon, enough for the group
Mint leaves ripped to small pieces
Crumbled feta
Lemon Chipotle oil

Place the watermelon salad on a plate or in a bowl. I like to place it on a bed of arugula but that’s optional. Sprinkle with mint and feta. Drizzle with oil and your done. It couldn’t get much more simple than that.
As for the lemon chipotle oil, there are a few ways to make it. I used to make it in a sauce pan and if you have the time that works great. However in a pinch, place 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a bowl with a whole dried chipotle pepper. Gently warm in microwave for 25 seconds. Repeat a three times being careful not to over heat the oil. Allow the pepper to sit in the oil for as long as you have, at least for 5 minute but half an hour works better. Grate the rind of one lemon and place in the bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the bowl and stir. Dilute the oil with more olive oil if it’s too spicy.

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One Response to Watermelon Salad with Lemon Chipotle Oil

  1. Nicole August 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I just love watermelon salad.

    This recipe is just awesome. You can dress it up for a more formal dinner with your "foodie" friends or dress is down for a family style BBQ.

    The lemon chili oil is a particularly nice touch!

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