Have you ever compressed watermelon? You won’t believe what a difference it makes! The flavor of the watermelon becomes sweeter and more intense, and in this recipe it’s balanced perfectly with a bit of spice, fresh tomatoes and a tangy, creamy avocado dressing.
I have so much to talk about that I don’t even know where to begin.
I’m so excited about this recipe and I’m so happy to be sharing it with you!
What is Compressed Watermelon?
- Compressing uses pressure, often of a vacuum sealer, to remove the air between the cell walls in foods.
- Compressing the watermelon intensifies the flavor and the texture becomes more dense and the color more vibrant. (Here’s why.)
- It’s quite easy to do it, even without a vacuum sealer. (See recipe instructions below.)
Compressed Watermelon Salad Recipe
If you’ve never tried compressing watermelon, you must.
Sometimes adding one more step, a detail, if you will, to a recipe, is all it takes to bring it from very good, to over the top. And in this case, compressing the watermelon does it.
This salad is a most delightful appetizer course, and would be lovely for a summer lunch.
The Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado
This is actually a salad dressing — one that’s a bit thicker than most. It’s creamy, tangy, super smooth, and the perfect “bed” for the watermelon. It also makes for a fabulous dip or spread on a sandwich.
This utterly stunning Compressed Watermelon Salad will make all of your party guests swoon.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I really think you’re going to love it!
More of my favorite watermelon recipes:
- Watermelon Pizza
- Watermelon Cucumber Salsa
- Balsamic Glazed Fresh Melon Cake
- Balsamic Watermelon Avocado Chopped Salad
Compressed Watermelon Salad and Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado
*Please note that the Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing should be made in advance -- it takes about 10 minutes.
- about ¼ of a large seedless watermelon
- about ½ cup Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing (click here for the recipe)
- 1 cup tiny, multi-color heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters
- 1 small to medium-sized jalapeño pepper, super thinly sliced
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
To compress the watermelon
- Use a long slicing knife to cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place one half flat side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle.
- Now decide on your serving plates. Cut the watermelon flesh to match the shape of the plate -- could be circular, square, rectangular, or into cubes if you'd like --- it's up to you! Whatever you choose, the slices should be about ½ thick, and you should have 4 of them, or 4 generous handful of the cubes.
- Place the slices (or cubes) in a large, heavy-duty zip-lock bag -- be sure the watermelon pieces are laying flat and as close together as possible. Remove as much air possible form the bag as you seal it. You may need more than one, if not a few bags. Now lay the bags flat on a baking sheet or tray that will fit into your freezer. Place something flat on top -- I use another baking sheet, but if that doesn't work for you, you can even use a piece of cardboard. Now place heavy items on top to weigh it down -- could be cans of food, packages of frozen meat or even ice packs. Whatever works. Leave it in the freezer for 2 hours.
- When you're ready to plate the watermelon, after the 2 hours, let it sit out just until it’s thawed through, about 15 minutes or so. Then use the bottom of a spoon to thickly spread about 2 tablespoons of the Creamy Lemon-Lime Avocado Dressing on the plate -- mostly in the center. Add a watermelon slice on top and gently press it into the dressing so that it spreads beneath it.
- Add about ¼ of the tomatoes to each plate, and a few slices of the jalapeño pepper (use as many as you'd like, depending on how much heat you want). Add a sprig or two of thyme and serve!