Watermelon with Chrysanthemum and Shiso
4 large wedges seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh cut into triangles, about 8 cups
8 ounces ricotta salata, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch of chrysanthemum leaves or baby arugula
A handful of shiso leaves or baby arugula
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Come summertime, I can’t get enough watermelon. When I tire of pairing it with the usual mint and feta, I seek out chrysanthemum greens and shiso leaves, which impart magical herbal notes. If you can’t find either of them, you can substitute arugula.
Arrange the watermelon on a platter or on individual serving dishes. Scatter the cheese strips and greens over the watermelon and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Meet the ingredients
Chrysanthemum Leaves and Shiso Chrysanthemum leaves are much appreciated in Japan and other parts of Asia for their grassy, floral flavor. Shiso leaves are the saw-toothed oval leaves you find on your sushi platter, and I hope you’ve been eating them all these years, because they are delicious. Both are standouts in salads. Find them at Asian markets or farmers’ markets.
Excerpted from Saladish by Ilene Rosen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018.