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Watermelon Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Watermelon Salad with Grilled Shrimp Photo courtesy of Mark Goldberg

Watermelon, spicy greens and feta cheese have become a favorite combination in our summer salad bowl. We wouldn’t have thought to add seafood to the mix, however, had we not discovered the version chef Mark Goldberg serves at Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At his new restaurant and bar, Goldberg makes the familiar recipe more substantial by topping it with juicy grilled shrimp. The colorful salad’s interplay of sweet, salty and smoky flavors makes it the perfect summer party food.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


20 large tail-on peeled shrimp (about ¾ pound)

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cups cubed seedless
watermelon (from one
5-pound watermelon)

2 sprigs mint, leaves removed and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

4 cups watercress or baby arugula

Sea salt

1 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Prepare a fire for direct cooking in your grill (or preheat a grill pan over high heat). In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp until they start to curl and are light pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl and cover to keep warm.

2. In a large salad bowl, combine the watermelon with the mint. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup olive oil with the balsamic vinegar. Drizzle the dressing over the watermelon, then add the greens and toss gently to combine. Season with sea salt.

3. Top the salad with the feta and reserved shrimp and serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Stop by Park next time you’re in the Boston area.

  • The shrimp can be grilled ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Serving it cold won’t affect the tastiness of the salad.

  • Substitute vincotto--which means “cooked wine”--for the vinegar. (This is what the chef uses in the restaurant.)

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