At Shindigz, we love to gather for parties and holidays. The 4th of July is one of the biggest feasts and celebrations of the summer. There’s the traditional cookout foods we’ve featured recently to make life more fun and delicious on the Shindigz Party Recipe site, including chicken, corn, bratwurst, hamburgers, kabobs, hot dogs, potato salad and grilled veggies, and watermelon is also a favorite.
Last time we featured Summer Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Mint Appetizers for a more formal occasion.
Today it’s Watermelon Salad for the 4th of July!
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 (3 inch) pieces fresh ginger root, peeled and lightly crushed
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups watermelon rind, white part only, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 (1 pound) package thick cut bacon
- 1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 limes, juiced
- 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated
- 12 cups chilled seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- Bring 1 1/2 cups of seasoned rice vinegar to a boil in a saucepan, and mix in the 2 pieces of crushed ginger root, shallots, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the brown sugar and salt have dissolved, and remove from heat. Place watermelon rind into a large heatproof nonreactive bowl, and strain the pickling liquid through a fine mesh strainer into the watermelon rind. Stir to combine, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the bacon into pieces when cooled.
- For dressing, place 1/2 cup of peeled and chopped ginger, garlic, lime juice, 1 cup of seasoned rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cilantro stems in a blender. Blend on high speed, scraping down blender sides occasionally, until the ginger and cilantro stems are pulverized and the dressing is thoroughly blended.
- To assemble, place about 1 cup of watermelon cubes onto a salad plate, and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the pickled rind, 1 to 2 tablespoons of bacon bits, 1 tablespoon of cilantro leaves, and about 1/2 tablespoon of chopped green onion, or to taste.
Bring this treat to your 4th of July Celebration this summer!
Image credit: Fruit at Foodland Pukalani, Maui – Credit: Forest and Kim Starr – Plants of Hawaii – Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, permitting sharing and adaptation with attribution.