Here's a quick and easy salad supper for Memorial Day weekend or for anytime. It's a vegetarian meal that can be made ahead and is easy to take on picnics or serve on your patio. The juicy watermelon, crunchy spiced pecans and manchego cheese lend a contrast of flavor and texture to the salad.
The spiced pecans keep well. Make extra and store them in an airtight box at room temperature. Use them on other salads, on pasta or to serve as a snack or with drinks.
• Watch the butter and brown sugar as they melt to make sure the sugar doesn't burn.
• Any type of lettuce can be used for the salad.
• Any type of hard cheese can be used.
• Make pecans.
• Assemble the salad.
To buy: 1 container seedless watermelon cubes, 1 package brown sugar, 1 bottle ground cayenne pepper, 1 package whole pecans, 1 package washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, 1 package arugula, 1 small piece manchego cheese and 1 bottle reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing.
Staples: butter, salt.
WATERMELON SALAD WITH SPICED PECANS
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup whole pecans
4 cups Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup arugula
1 cup seedless watermelon cubes
3 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
½ cup shaved Manchego cheese
Melt butter and sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the sugar has mostly dissolved, add the cayenne pepper, salt and pecans. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. Do not let the pecans burn. Set aside to cool a few minutes.
Arrange the lettuce and arugula on 2 plates. Sprinkle the watermelon cubes and spiced pecans over the lettuce. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle the shaved cheese on top.
Yield 2 servings.
Per serving: 654 calories (78% from fat), 56.7 g fat (15.1 g saturated, 26.2 g monounsaturated), 37 mg cholesterol, 14.1 g protein, 32.1 g carbohydrates, 7.7 g fiber, 405 mg sodium.