I have a weakness for a good salad. My favorites have strong flavors that play off each other with hints of sweetness, sourness (without being bitter) and crunch. This salad has it all–plus it’s easy to put together.

Sure, I’d love to take credit for coming up with the combo, but that goes to a restaurant I went to with friends–Moxie’s. I wanted to share one of the dishes with my kids (I’ll save figuring out the shrimp and zucchini fritters for later). This simple salad came to mind when I found watermelon on sale. I made several tweaks from the restaurant, including not making a vinaigrette. Lately, I’ve been just drizzling the vinegar on the bottom of the salad plate, stacking on the mixins’, then drizzling a sweetener, or flavored oil, on top. Saves time and it lets the flavors stand apart instead of being mixed from the start.

Here’s how to put it together:

  1. Cut up watermelon into bite-sized chunks. Sprinkle with a little salt to bring out the flavor and set aside.
  2. On each plate, drizzle your favorite vinegar. I use orange vinegar (thanks Trader Joe’s!), but other good choices would be something on the lighter side, like white balsamic.
  3. Place a handful of arugula, followed by feta cheese (Moxie’s used goat cheese), candied walnuts (this is my idea instead of rye croutons), then the watermelon pieces and finally a drizzle of agave.
  4. That’s it! Serve immediately.

Kid version of the salad

Now my oldest is to the point where she eats just about anything, but I knew my two younger kids wouldn’t go for it, so I separated out each ingredient so they could mix it on their own. You can see it pictured. They weren’t too fond of the kick of arugula at first, but when I coaxed them to try it with watermelon, then dip it in agave, they seemed to like it. Now, I won’t say they’re requesting this salad everyday (even though I’d love to have it often), but they were willing to give it a try and finish it. I call that a success. Now to figure out those fritters…

And we have winners in the eco-products giveaway. It was easy to pick ‘em out since the comments were sparse. So congrats to Jennifer, Betsy & Kerry. I’ll be sending your lunch bags soon!

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