Firecracker Watermelon Salad
- 4 cups cubed ripe, seedless watermelon
- 1 large shallot, peeled and finely minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tsp finely minced jalapeno peppers, or more to taste
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 3 tbsp grated ricotta salata, crumbled feta, or cubed Monterey Jack cheese, or more to taste
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnishing
- Prepare the Watermelon: Wash the melon under cool running water; dry and set on cutting board. Peel and cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces.
- Prep the Salad: In a very large mixing bowl, place the watermelon cubes, shallots, mint, jalapeno, blueberries, cheese, salt and pepper. Gently toss together and set aside.
- Prepare the Tangerine Vinaigrette: In a small, deep bowl with high sides, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, shallots, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture is blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Assemble the Salad: Pour the dressing over the watermelon mixture and toss gently to evenly coat the fruits. Cover and place in the refrigerator about 1 hour for the flavors to blend and thoroughly cool, tossing occasionally.
- To Serve: Toss the fruit to coat it with the dressing again. Use a slotted spoon to scoop portions of the watermelon salad onto plates. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired and serve immediately.