On our recent vacation to Wyoming we experienced some wonderful food, both familiar and some that was new to our palate. Josh took us to Calico’s Restaurant and Bar one evening. He had been hearing good things about their menu and wanted to give it a try. I was in the mood for a light meal and ordered their Watermelon Arugula salad. It was a big plate of marinated watermelon chunks with a sprinkling of arugula and goat cheese. The flavors in the honey lime marinade/dressing came through with just the right amount of sweetness. I was so impressed with this salad that I couldn’t wait to recreate it when we got home. I wasn’t sure if I could find watermelon since Fall is upon us. But sure enough when I went shopping they had some good sized watermelons that were on sale. While I was putting this together I kept thinking that this salad seemed familiar and not just from tasting it at Calico’s. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had seen a similar recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Karen at Back Road Journal. Karen’s recipe is a Spicy Stacked Watermelon Salad with Feta and Arugula which is a spicy version that looks absolutely delicious! If you haven’t tried a watermelon salad, you don’t know what you’re missing.
I made a marinade/dressing using lime juice, (lime flavored) olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.
Measure out and add all of the ingredients leaving the olive oil for last to whisk and emulsify.
Taste it and see if it needs a bit more sweetness to your taste buds. I only added a pinch of salt because the goat cheese provides the saltiness you need to enhance the flavor of the watermelon.
If you want to marinate the watermelon, first spoon out the amount of watermelon needed for your salad into a bowl and drizzle some dressing over it. Refrigerate 30 minutes. To plate it: add a layer of arugula leaves on the bottom of your plate. Stack watermelon chunks over top. Sprinkle with a few more leaves of arugula and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle a little more dressing over top.
This was the salad I had at Calico’s Restaurant and Bar.
Another version is to add sliced strawberries. I’ve always paired strawberries with lime so it made sense to add a few strawberries to the mix. It tasted fantastic!
Watermelon Arugula Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Watermelon cut into 1 inch cubes
Strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and halved, optional
Baby Arugula Leaves
Goat Cheese, crumbled
Honey Lime Dressing
2 1/2 tablespoons Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, I used Persian Lime flavored olive oil
Mix lime juice, honey, salt and pepper together. Whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Refrigerate.
Set aside the amount of watermelon and/or strawberries you want for your salad into a bowl. Add a drizzle of honey lime dressing over top and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will infuse the flavors in the watermelon and strawberries. A drizzle is all you need, any more will overpower the flavors.
Assemble salad with a layer of arugula leaves on the bottom of a plate. Arrange marinated watermelon and/or strawberries over top. Sprinkle goat cheese crumbles over the watermelon and/or strawberries and add a few more arugula leaves. Drizzle honey lime dressing over top.
Honey Lime Dressing is for 2 servings. Double or triple recipe for extra salads.