Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

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This is the best fruit salad for any summer occasion!

Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

First of all, I have to give a shout-out for a HAPPY 4 Years to my wonderful husband.  I have a feeling that our fifth year is going to be the most exciting yet! 

Do you ever eat something at a restaurant that seems so simple yet so special at the same time?  The kind of dish that sticks with you for years?  A couple of summers ago, Matt and I had one of the most delicious meals at ad hoc in Yountville.  Everything tasted amazing, but I left the restaurant thinking nonstop about the watermelon salad.  It was served as an appetizer yet it was topped with financier croutons… cake for dinner!  It was a lovely combination of sweet and savory to kick off a fantastic meal.

This fruit salad was highly inspired by that wonderful dinner in Napa.  However, I took the flavor profile to a different direction.  Sweet and juicy watermelon is tossed with fresh blueberries and basil then topped with a savory blueberry balsamic glaze (that sauce would be good on anything, even chicken or pork chops) and lemon cake croutons.  I enjoyed the salad as is for a snack but it also made a perfect appetizer with the addition of feta cheese.  Pair it with some grilled chicken for a light but satisfying summer dinner.

Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
760 grams / 1 pound, 11 ounces (6 cups) watermelon cut into small cubes (~1/2 – 1 inch size)
140 grams / 5 ounces (1 cup) fresh blueberries
55 grams / 2 ounces (1/2 cup) feta cheese (optional but recommended)
10 grams (~1/2 cup) chopped fresh basil
1 cup lemon cake croutons (see below)
3 fluid ounces / 6 tablespoons blueberry balsamic glaze (see below)

Directions:
Toss watermelon, blueberries, cheese and basil carefully in a large bowl
Top with croutons and drizzle with glaze; serve immediately

Lemon Cake Croutons

Ingredients:
1 cup cubed day old lemon pound cake cut into small cubes (~1/2 inch size) – I used this recipe

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray
Place cake cubes onto prepared baking sheet and bake in oven for 7 minutes or until lightly browned on top; flip cubes over and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until lightly browned

Note:  Croutons can be used warm and are best served within several hours of preparation; store in an airtight container after making

Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) good quality balsamic vinegar
280 grams / 10 ounces (2 cups) fresh blueberries, washed and dried
30 grams /1 ounces (~2 tablespoons) light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 gram (1/4) teaspoon salt
dash of lemon zest

Directions:
Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a medium-sized heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the balsamic has thickened and reduced to about two tablespoons
Stir in blueberries, brown sugar, salt and lemon zest; increase heat to medium and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer for ~10 minutes until sauce is reduced and thick, stirring occasionally to crush berries
Remove from heat and serve or chill in refrigerator up to one week

Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

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10 Responses to “Watermelon Salad with Lemon Cake Croutons and Blueberry Balsamic Glaze”

  1. Joanne June 12, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    I love how this is simultaneously sweet AND savory. The best of all worlds!!

    Happy anniversary to you and Matt!!

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Gah! Those croutons are so flipping fun! And this salad as whole looks awesome. YUM!

  3. Sues June 13, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    I am OBSESSED with this idea! So much fun. Happy anniversary to you and your husband :)

  4. Sarah|Pickled Capers June 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    This is the fairy godmother of all salads.

  5. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie June 14, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Holy crap I was just thinking the other day about making croutons out of cake but was having a hard time thinking of what kind of salad to put it on. Love this!

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