By searing the watermelon in this Key Largo inspired salad, the sweetness caramelizes on the sides. A balance of sweet and acidic is achieved by pairing the watermelon with the lime juice infused hearts of palm. Lime filters through all Flavor Tiers here without overwhelming the final dish. Crisping the mint brightens the dressing and calms the lime.
14 oz jar hearts of palm
5 T fresh lime juice, divided
¼ c safflower oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1 T fresh mint, roughly chopped
zest from one lime
1 T orange blossom honey
1/8 t cayenne pepper
4 oz block feta cheese
2 T pistachio nuts
Place olive oil in small skillet and heat to medium high. Add chopped mint to hot oil. Sauté mint until crisp, approximately 2 minutes. Pour oil and mint into small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons lime juice, lime zest, honey and cayenne pepper. Whisk until well blended.
Heat electric griddle or large skillet to high. Cut two 3 ½” crosswise slices from watermelon center. Cut each slice into 6 wedges and remove rind. Brush both sides of watermelon slices with safflower oil. Place on griddle or in skillet. Sear for 2 minutes. Turn over and sear an additional 2 minutes. Remove the watermelon to a platter.
Remove the watermelon to a platter. Cool to room temperature.
Drain the hearts of palm. Cut into 1” pieces. Place in a small bowl. Add 2 T lime juice and toss. Set aside.
Place remaining dressing back into the small skillet. Heat over medium high heat until the dressing is reduced to almost half. About 5 – 6 minutes.
Place pistachio nuts in a small skillet over high heat. Quickly roast stirring continually. Cook 5 minutes until slightly roasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and coarsely chop. Roughly crumble feta cheese into a bowl. Add pistachios. Combine.
Place 3 wedges watermelon on each of 4 serving plates along one side. Drain the hearts of palm and evenly divide between the plates over the watermelon. Evenly sprinkle the cheese and pistachios over the arugula. Drizzle the reduction over the watermelon and hearts of palm.