Over the last year or so, I have noticed that some of the more trendy restaurants are adding or even featuring seedless watermelon in salads. I have never been a watermelon fan since I swallowed a large black seed as a kid — and thought life is over. That fearful memory has stayed with me. Until recently.
In late August, Donna and I spent a few days in New Buffalo, Michigan — hardly a place one would expect to have a Damascus Road conversion. But it happened. At the Bentwood Tavern. We ordered the arugula and beet salad. And I fell in love. Consider — arugula, small beets (of different variety), pumpkin seeds and seedless watermelon. Diced. With a white balsamic and olive oil dressing. I ate it. I enjoyed it. Truth be told — I could’ve made a meal of it.
In Santa Barbara, CA some weeks ago, we had lunch at a popular restaurant where I ordered the watermelon salad. My expectations rose then fell. The meal was outstanding though the watermelon salad was a rectangular cut of watermelon on a bed of lettuce. Little else. Very disappointing. But we moved on to San Francisco and Rose Pistola where dinner started with a roasted beet salad with pomegranates, ricotta salata cheese, a 12 year aged Balsamic and light olive oil and . . . watermelon. I was actually tempted to order another beet and watermelon salad for dessert. However the other member of my party insisted on something chocolate. That we could share. Chivalrous to the end, I capitulated. Chocolate. . . . . I mean when you can have watermelon??