Brian Malarkey’s Watermelon Salad Recipe
Top Chef finalist and victor of the ABC show The Taste shares a bit of his secret in this summer loving watermelon salad recipe. As watermelon comes into season, Malarkey loves using the juicy summer fruit in his salads as a sweet counterpart to savory ingredients like vinegar to create a rich textural dish that is healthy but flavorful and rich.
“At Searsucker, we keep it seasonal and I think many agree that it doesn’t get much better than eating Texas watermelon in summertime,” Malarkey says.
More info about Searsucker, Austin: https://www.facebook.com/searaustin
Serves 4 friends
For the balsamic syrup:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the vinaigrette:
1 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
1 big handful spring mixed greens
4 cups red and yellow seedless watermelon, diced large
3 cups Capri tomatoes, diced large or red and yellow cherry or pear tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tablespoon chives, sliced into thin strips
6 fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
1/3 cup goat cheese
Edible flowers (optional)
HOW TO DO IT
Chef’s Note: This balsamic syrup can be used for a ton of things. It’s great as a garnish for everything from grilled chicken to ice cream to watermelon salad.
1. Make the balsamic syrup: In a small saucepot over medium heat combine the balsamic and sugar and reduce by about half until it just reaches a syrup consistency. (Note: you can flavor the balsamic with everything from blackberries to cherries to orange to bacon to figs — let your imagination go crazy!)
2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepot bring the sherry vinegar and honey to a boil. Add the onion and turn the heat off. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, and strain out the pickled onions (save them for the salad).
3. Assemble and serve: In a large bowl, whisk together half the sherry mixture with the olive oil (save the rest for another day). Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss in all the salad ingredients, except for the goat cheese, and mix well to combine and coat with dressing. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, garnish with edible flowers, if desired, and finish with a drizzle bomb of balsamic syrup all over!