Watermelon and Blue Cheese - say what?

Nothing says summer like nice, fresh watermelon. It's the quintessential summer fruit.  

You've had it paired with tomatoes in a different spin on gazpacho, with mint and olives in a refreshing summer salad, but have you ever had it paired with blue cheese?
Sounds interesting, if not a bit odd. 

At least that's exactly what I thought when I saw this salad being served at a friend's house the other weekend. But one bite into it, I was already planning out my route to seconds. 

Just imagine that sweet, juicy flavor of the watermelon paired with tangy, pungent blue cheese. Add in a sweet heat from the pepper jelly infused dressing and it was love at first bite. 

I added thinly sliced red onion for a little additional bite. I also served my lettuce on the side, simply because I knew we'd have a lot of leftovers and I didn't want the lettuce to wilt. One final note, this recipe is definitely in the serve immediately category. I made mine in advance of our meal {for photography purposes} and by the time dinner rolled around, the watermelon had released a lot of juice so the presentation wasn't quite as nice. But the flavor was still really good. 

Watermelon, Mache, and Pecan Salad, as featured in the July 2008 issue of Southern Living

3/4 c chopped pecan
5 c cubed watermelon
6 oz. mache, washed 
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 c crumbled blue cheese

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cool.
  2. 2. Combine watermelon and mâche in a large bowl; add vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Transfer watermelon mixture to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cheese.

Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c pepper jelly
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tbs grated onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp vegetable oil

  • Preparation
  • 1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until blended.
until next time,