Recipe: Compressed watermelon salad

Chef Leo Davila shares this summer watermelon + arugula salad

Cool off with this refreshing salad
Cool off with this refreshing salad (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)


• 1 each - small watermelon - (Cubed or rectangular pieces)

• 8 oz. - Arugula

• 3 oz. - Red Wine Vinegar

• 2 Tbsp. - Balsamic Vinegar

• 2 tsp. - Salt

• 1 Tbsp. - Sugar

• 6 oz. - Olive oil plus more for sautéing

• 8 each - Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

• 2 oz. - Queso Fresco

• 3 oz. - Roasted & Salted Sunflower seeds

• 1 tsp. - Salt

• 0.5 tsp. - Olive oil

• As needed - Avocado Crema


1. Cube watermelon to desired measurement, remember to have fun and play with shapes.

2. Assemble vinaigrette; In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and sugar. Mix well to

dissolve salt and sugar. Add olive oil 2 oz. at a time in a steady stream while whisking the mixture.

3. In a vacuum sealed bag, add the watermelon pieces and the vinaigrette. Do not overcrowd the bags, seal and place in

refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 hours.

4. Preheat a nonstick skill over medium-high heat; add 1 tsp. of oil and halved cherry tomatoes. Sauté for 2-4 minutes until

the tomatoes are blistered, but not burnt.

5. If roasting sunflower seeds, line a cookie sheet or sheet tray with parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, combine the

sunflower seeds, salt, and oil. Mix well and roast at 350°F for 5-10 minuets.

6. Assembly: Open vacuum sealed bag and drain off any excess liquid in a container, reserve liquid. Arrange watermelon

pieces on upper right hand corner of your plate.

7. Lightly toss arugula in 2 tsp. of the reserved liquid. Place on middle left center of the plate, partially overlapping the

watermelon. Give it height.

8. Finish with a swirl of avocado crema, blistered tomatoes, sprinkled queso fresco, and roasted sunflower seeds.

9. Enjoy!