Philacatessen | Honeydew Arugula Salad With Pickled Onion Dressing

slice of honeydew
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Melons are at their late summer peak now — enjoy them while you can, for too soon they will be gone.

I have been overdosing as a way to capture this sweet burst of summer’s farewell — cantaloupe, honeydew, canary, watermelon and sugarlope. They make a wonderful snack or breakfast, but they are also versatile in other things such as salads (see below), salsa, as a toothpick canapé with a cube of feta and a sprig of mint, frozen into sorbet, or swirled into smoothies.

My new favorite is the following salad: a symphony of sweet honeydew, peppery arugula, briny olives, salty cheese and tangy dressing. Pair it with a simply grilled main dish, and dinner is served.

The onion technique is a bit of a revelation; like many people, I like onion, but it can be quite overpowering. By soaking the onions in the seasoned vinegar, the flavor is softened a bit, and they come out semi-pickled. I’ve used the dressing on pretty much every salad I’ve made since I created the method; it’s now firmly in the rotation.

arugula salad with watermelon, olives and cheese
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Honeydew Arugula Salad with Pickled Onion Dressing

Serves 2 generously

Make the dressing as the first step of your meal prep. This gives the onions time to pickle — and don’t fret if it’s a short spell; even a few minutes makes a difference.

The salad:

  • 1 package baby arugula
  • 1 cup cubed honeydew (or other similar melon)
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

The dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced onions
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Generous sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper
  • A sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Place all salad ingredients in a serving bowl, and toss dressing over.

Serve immediately.


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