Watermelon and Beet Salad

Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeAmerican
watermelon beet salad

Chef Ryan Pitt
Citizen Public House
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Vegetarians and vegans can easily get bored with salads, but this presentation should catch their attention. Chef Pitt arranges beets, watermelon and ricotta salata cheese in a checkerboard pattern instead of tossing the components into a bowl or layering them on a plate for a colorful side or starter salad.


3-5 lb. golden beets
½ large watermelon
1½  lb. cucumbers
1½  lb. ricotta salata
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. minced red onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1½ cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Watermelon radishes an fried kalettes, for garnish


1. Bring large saucepot of water to a boil. Add beets; cook until fork tender. Drain and let cool.
2. Peel and trim beets and cut into 1¼-inch cubes. Trim watermelon and cut into 1¼-inch cubes. Peel and seed cucumbers; cut into 1¼-inch cubes. Cut ricotta salata into 1¼-inch cubes. Refrigerate beet, watermelon, cucumber and ricotta cubes to keep cold.
3. Prepare poppy seed dressing: In small bowl, combine vinegar, onion, garlic, mustard and poppy seeds with immersion blender. Slowly pour in oil to emulsify; season with salt and pepper.
4. In large bowl, combine cubes of beets, watermelon, cucumber and ricotta. Add enough poppy seed dressing to coat pieces evenly. Arrange 16 cubes on each plate, alternating ingredients, to create a perfect square. Garnish with radishes and kalettes.

Photo courtesy of Watermelon Promotion Board

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