Watermelon “Pizza” with Crab and Arugula Salad

 

A plate of Watermelon Pizza with Arugula

When the mercury runs high during summer, it's nice to prepare a dish that doesn't involve turning on the oven. This week’s weeknight recipe is perfect for nights like that. It combines some of the season’s star produce, and just the right amount of shellfish for protein. And best of all, you can throw it together in 30 minutes or less. So what do you say, let’s get cooking!

What you need:

½ a watermelon

1 5-oz package crab meat

2-3 handfuls arugula

10 Tbs Olive Oil

juice from 1 lemon (roughly 3 Tbs), plus 1 Tbs bottled lemon juice

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

1 shallot, diced

Himalayan Pink Mountain Salt (to taste)

 

Why we like it:

This unique dish is both fun and refreshing – perfect for a sweltering summer night. Easy enough to prepare on a busy weeknight for you and your family; elegant enough to prepare for a relaxed weekend dinner party with friends. It’s the carb-free way to enjoy pizza, while still satisfying your hunger.

The dressing can be tailored to your tastes. We like 3 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice, but you can adjust the amounts to get the flavor profile you prefer. Never tried Himalayan Pink Mountain Salt? It just may become your new go-to seasoning! Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan Pink Mountain Salt helps regulate and maintain healthy blood pressure. You can find it at the Sunset Foods Deli Counter.

How to prepare it:

The quantities listed above are designed as a meal for two people. You could also serve as an appetizer for four to six people. Need to feed a crowd? Simply scale up the ingredients!

We like to start by making our salad dressing. As always, you want to get all of your ingredients organized before you start.

Watermelon and salad dressing ingredients

Begin by dicing your shallot. We like shallots because they are a nice cross between an onion and garlic – a little stronger than an onion, but more delicate than garlic. And they impart wonderful flavors into dressings and marinades.

Dicing shallots

Next, combine your shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil in a mixing bowl and whisk together to emulsify (that’s a fancy term for “bringing together” ingredients that do not naturally bind.) We find it easiest to zest the lemon before juicing it – it’s much easier to hold the whole lemon in your hand and zest than to hold a juiced lemon. By zesting the lemon directly into the mixing bowl you are using to make your dressing, all of those lovely essential oils (read: flavor) in the zest will be released into the mixing bowl.

Remember, you can play around with the quantities of oil and lemon juice in your dressing to suit your taste. Season the dressing with salt, then set aside while you attend to your watermelon.

Seasoning shallots with oil and lemon

You can either purchase a halved watermelon, or if you buy a whole melon, slice it in half lengthwise. Lay the watermelon on your cutting board cut-side-down – this way, the watermelon is flat and stable for slicing. Then determine how thick you want your “pizza”. If you’re a thin crust lover, perhaps ½-inch thick slices will do. If you love deep dish, 1-inch or thicker slices will hit the spot. Slice through your watermelon, then cut each slice in half down the middle to achieve nice triangles of juicy watermelon, like so:

Chopping up watermelon slices

Take your arugula and add it to the bowl of salad dressing, tossing with tongs to evenly coat the leaves. This hardy green has a lovely nutty flavor, and holds up well to dressings without wilting. It’s a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the melon.

Tossing arugula in dressing

Now you’re ready to build your “pizzas”. Place your watermelon slices on serving plates and top with a generous amount of dressed greens, followed by some crab meat. And just like that, dinner is served!

Topping watermelon with arugula and crab

Seriously, how easy was that? And how beautiful does that look? Has it even been 30 minutes? Dig in folks! We promise, it tastes even better than it looks.

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