Spicy Watermelon Salad with Tequila Dressing

“Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama!
Key Largo, Montego,
baby why don’t we go….”

Are you singing along?  C’mon! It’s SUMMER!!!  Time to slip off your shoes, dig your toes in the sand and let the Beach Boys take us away…
“Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
we’ll get there fast
and then we’ll take it slow!
That’s where we wanna go,
way down in Kokomo.”

Sadly, Kokomo isn’t a real place. (I know, I googled it.) Bermuda, Bahama and the rest certainly are though. Have you ever been? They look like beautiful places to visit!  While we don’t have plans to slip away to the Caribbean this year, lately I have been inspired to eat more fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables.  I’ve been on this crazy Shrimp Taco kick too.  If we go out to eat and there are Shrimp Tacos on the menu, that’s what I order!  We’ve been making them at home at least once a week for the last month too!  I just can’t get enough.   Thank goodness they’re healthy!

When our Inland Empire Food Bloggers group got together last week, our aim was to spin a favorite dinner dish into a summer dinner salad.  I knew I wanted to create a salad that reminded me of a shrimp taco but didn’t have any shrimp.  Since it’s summer, a cool, refreshing dinner salad that wouldn’t heat up the kitchen, was also one of my goals!  So, I replaced the shrimp with watermelon, added tomatoes, jicama, red onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro and a little bit of goat cheese.  Of course, it’s not a shrimp taco without some amazing aioli, and in our house, we make a pretty decent avocado tequila aioli!  It’s perfect as a dressing for this Summer Salad!

Watermelon Salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad with Avocado Tequila Dressing

  • Zest and juice from 3 limes (approx. 3 TBLS)
  • 1 TBLS Tequila
  • 1 medium Avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 TBLS White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBLS honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 lb mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup jicama, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 - 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 cup microgreens (optional)
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

For the dressing, combine the first nine ingredients (limes through sour cream) along with 2 TBLS of the minced cilantro, together in a blender. Pulse until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add more sour cream or milk until it reaches desired consistency.

Place dressing in the refrigerator to chill while you assemble the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the cilantro with watermelon, tomatoes, jicama, onion, jalapeño and cabbage.

To serve salad, on four dinner plates, place 1/4 cup chopped arugula, 1 cup of the watermelon mixture, top with microgreens, crumbled cheese and pepitas.

Serve with chilled avocado tequila dressing!

Baja Watermelon Salad

Not only am I sharing my recipe for this Spicy Watermelon Salad, but below you’ll find links to three other fabulous Summer Dinner Salads from my IEFB buddies!

Fruit and Cheese Pizza Salad from “It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake”

Fruit and Cheese Pizza Salad

Ensalada Cubano (Cuban Sandwich Salad) from “The Devil Wears Parsley”

Ensalada Cubano

Thai Zoodle Salad from “Decadently Fit”

Thai Zoodle Salad

Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo!
Now if you wanna go to get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo!  Oh, and take these salads with you!

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