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Make This: Spinach Watermelon Salad with Bacon, Chives and Blue Cheese

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With the abundance of fresh produce available at farmers markets across the Southwest, now is the time to add a salad to your daily menu. Erin Wade — farmer, chef and owner of salad bistro Vinaigrette in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Austin — offers up this recipe that’ll make you happy to skip the meat and potatoes tonight
Summer’s fresh produce is the star in this watermelon salad recipe from chef Erin Wade.
Summer’s fresh produce is the star in this watermelon salad recipe from chef Erin Wade.
Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Bacon, Chives and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3 cups watermelon shards
  • 2/3 cup chopped crisp cooked bacon
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • Creamy blue cheese vinaigrette (recipe below)

Instructions:

Combine spinach, most of the watermelon, half of the chives and most of the bacon in a large stainless bowl. Swirl dressing around the outside and then toss the salad, top over bottom, taking care to coat everything without pulverizing the ingredients. Plate the salad on a serving bowl or platter, then lay the remaining watermelon triangles on top, the remaining bacon and garnish the entire salad with the other half of the chopped chives.

Pro tip for cutting your watermelon:

“First, cut your watermelon in half, then again into quarters and again into eighths until you have a smallish wedge,” Wade says. “Remove the rind and use your knife to shave slightly imperfect and thin triangles that are close to the size of a baby spinach leaf.”

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
(modified from The Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 6 dashes Worcestershire
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces high-quality blue cheese (Wade recommends Point Reyes)
  • Instructions:

    This dressing stays a much prettier color if you mix by hand, but can also be done in a food processor or blender. Puree or whisk vigorously all ingredients except the blue cheese until well blended. Add blue cheese in crumbles and whisk until creamy. Add more lemon juice and/or blend more if you want a more liquefied dressing.

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