My sister brought a yummy watermelon and feta salad to a family gathering, which inspired me to create this one. I was after Latin flavors, and this combination of ingredients definitely accomplishes that. This is a refreshing, juicy side salad for a hot summer day; all that's needed to make it a meal is a piece of grilled chicken and Corn on the Cob with Compound Butter. Serves 6 (recipe can be halved)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Large pinch each of cumin, ground chipotle powder, and salt
3 ounces baby arugula, washed and dry
5 cups 3/4-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes of peeled jicama
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes of English cucumber, seeds removed
3/4 cup very thinly-sliced scallions
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the pepitas and, shaking the pan and tossing from time to time, "toast" the pepitas. When the pepitas look toasty and are fragrant, remove from the heat and stir in the cumin, ground chipotle, and salt. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.
When ready to serve, arrange the arugula around the perimeter of a large deep platter, with a bit in the center, to "frame" the salad and also provide a bit of a bed for the salad.
Combine the watermelon, jicama, cucumber, green onions, and cilantro in a bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with some of the Honey-Lime Dressing and toss. Arrange on the platter. Sprinkle with the crumbled queso fresco, then sprinkle the pepitas over, followed by a generous sprinkling of chia seeds. Serve additional Honey Lime Dressing on the side.