Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vegan Watermelon Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Artichoke Crostini

My dear friend Shelly surprised me at work a while back with this delightful salad for lunch. She and her husband had been to the islands and had enjoyed this island delight as part of a memorable meal they shared at The Beach House restaurant on the lovely island of Kauai. I did tweak it, but only minimally by replacing the Gorgonzola cheese with vegan feta, but this salad certainly lends itself to some experimentation. I think adding some island flavors like mango or papaya or switching up the melons would be super delish. This dressing is literally perfect as is, and I wouldn't touch a thing. I served it with some crostini with artichoke pesto, and I gotta say, it was a perfect summer supper.

This recipe is adapted from "The Beach House Restaurant on Kauai" 

  • 6 Cups Mixed Field Greens
  • 1/2 Cup thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Carrot Curls (or shreds)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Toasted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Feta
  • Seedless Watermelon

  • 1/4 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • 1/4 Cup Strawberry Puree (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Salad Oil (canola or vegetable)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients - Yields 2 1/4 Cups

Salad Greens:  Toss greens in large bowl with just enough raspberry vinaigrette to coat the greens.  Divide greens into liberal portions on 4 plates.  Garnish greens with cheese, toasted macadamia nuts, red onion and carrot curls. Remove rind from watermelon, cut into thin wedges around greens.

Artichoke pesto is a favorite in our home. We love it tossed with pasta, spread on sandwiches or burgers, or simply presented on some lovely crostini. When making crostini you don't want to skimp on your quality of bread. I have found the denser the bread, the better the crostini. Ciabatta or a hearty baquette makes for a lovely crisp and tasty crostini.

  • 1 loaf ciabatta or baquette
  • a couple cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil

Slice bread into 1/2" slices. Grill or toast your bread. While still hot rub with the cut side of a clove of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. If you are spreading with artichoke pesto, you needn't spread with the olive oil. 

  • 1 can 14 oz artichoke hearts 
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice of one lemon, since the amount of juice in each lemon is different, add a little juice at a time. One tablespoon may be enough to give the pesto some zip.
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 + cup olive oil
In a food processor, pulse the toasted walnuts and garlic. Add the artichokes and herbs, pulse to blend. Add lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and vegan parmesan, pulse to blend. Through feeding tube, add olive oil just until you have a nice spreadable consistency. 

Spread crostini with artichoke pesto and enjoy!


  1. Carol, this looks so delicious. I will definitely be making this. Donovan and I have been crazy busy with a new home project, but I'm ready to get back to cooking. I see many wonderful things you've posted. The pinwheel appetizers look INCREDIBLE. P.S. We plan to raise our baby vegan and you are solely responsible for our change in lifestyle. xx

  2. um.....What???? You're pregnant? I am speechless and so incredibly happy for you guys. Send me an email with the details. Congratulations! Please let me cook something special for you two. How about some chicken artichoke enchiladas? Wow...what great news. So excited!