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Recipe Friday: Summer = Watermelon Salads

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day! Check out these refreshing salad recipes from the Watermelon Promotion Board that are sure to be a hit this summer. 

Charred Watermelon Salad

Recipe courtesy Chef Bryan Weaver, Redheaded Stranger, Nashville, TN

Yield: 1

Ingredients for Charred Watermelon Cubes

9 1-inch cubes per serving


Remove the peel from the watermelon with a peeler, then carefully cut the rind away from the flesh, and set the rind aside. Cut the watermelon flesh into one-inch squares, and place on a wire rack set over a sheet tray. Using a blow torch, char the tops of the cubes. Cool before service.

Ingredients for Pickled Watermelon Rind

Reserved rind
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ cup salt
1 T ground turmeric


Cut the reserved rind into small dice, and add to a pot with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, let cool, drain and reserve the pickled watermelon rind.

Ingredients for Ancho Chile Vinegar

1 cup vegetable oil
4 oz stemless, seedless ancho chiles
8 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup lime juice
Salt, to taste


In a pot over medium heat, add the oil, chiles and garlic and cook until the mixture starts to simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for one hour; strain. Whisk in lime juice and season with salt, to taste.

Ingredients for Whipped Feta

1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup cream cheese
2 cloves, garlic
Basil, torn


In a food processor, add feta, cream cheese, garlic and a handful of torn basil. Process until smooth.

Ingredients for Garnish

Celery, shaved and stored in ice water
Black sesame seeds
Sea salt

To Assemble

In a bowl, toss nine Charred Watermelon Cubes with 2 T Ancho Chile Vinegar. Arrange dressed watermelon cubes on a serving plate so they are not touching. Using a piping bag or squeeze bottle, place a small amount of Whipped Feta on top of each cube so there’s a bit of the char showing. Top each Charred Watermelon Cube with one or two pieces of Pickled Watermelon Rind, then garnish with dried pieces of shaved celery to cover and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sea salt.

Watermelon Burmese Salad

Recipe courtesy The Culinary Institute of America as an industry Service to the Watermelon Board.

Yield: 8


2 lbs red watermelon, cut into ½" dice
3 ea. firm avocado, cut into ¼" dice
1 cup green lentils, cooked
1 cup green beans, cooked, cut into ¼" pieces
3 T ginger, minced
3 ea. kaffir lime leaves, fine julienne
1 cup peanuts, skinless
¼ cup black sesame seeds
¼ cup white sesame seeds
1 cup coconut flakes
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tsp salt
½ cup peanut oil
½ cup mint leaves, torn


  1. Combine watermelon, avocado, lentils, green beans, ginger and kaffir lime leaves in bowl. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and add peanuts. Toast until browned and add sesame seeds and coconut. Toss frequently until coconut is browned and toasted. Remove from pan and cool.
  3. Combine lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt in a bowl. With a whisk, slowly add peanut oil to combine.
  4. Pour dressing over the watermelon mixture, add the toasted ingredients and toss gently to combine. Garnish with mint. Season to taste.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

Thai Watermelon Rind Noodle Salad

Yield: 8


2 lbs watermelon rind, peeled
1 ea. carrots, large, peeled
½ lb green beans, blanched slightly, thinly sliced
 cup cilantro, chopped
2 T mint, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
¼ lb shrimp, small, cooked
½ cup peanuts, toasted, chopped (for garnish)

Ingredients for Dressing

1 tsp ginger, finely minced
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 T white vinegar
2 T lime juice (about 1 lime)
¼ cup orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
1 T tamarind paste
¼ cup water
4-6 dashes Sriracha or chili sauce
2 T fish sauce


  1. Using a mandolin, cut the watermelon rind and carrots into a thin julienne.
  2. Place green beans, watermelon rind and carrots in a large bowl with the herbs and shrimp.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Allow to stand for 5 minutes for the flavors to develop.
  5. Garnish with peanuts.



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