Food + Wine

Watermelon and Corn Panzanella

Today I had a little free time so I wrote another variation on my Red Fruit Salad with Basil and Feta.
(For the original recipe, click here:
The original version is wonderful and I almost didn’t want to mess with it.
Then I remembered who I was – A messer.
So I looked around my kitchen, and my husband watched as I slowly turned into a mad scientist…
I saw that I had a stale hunk of homemade Italian Boule, an opened package of bacon and some corn on the cob that (poor things) had nowhere else to go. So my mind started twirling like a hurricane…
This particular version could certainly be a meal because it’s much heartier than the original. I’m sure you’re skeptical but I assure you, the aggressively salty-smokiness of the bacon and the innocent sweetness of the raw corn really bring something special to the plate.
Here’s what I did…
-Cut 1/4 of a large watermelon into bite-sized chunks, place in large bowl
-Thinly slice half an onion and add to the bowl
-Scrape the kernels off of 3 ears of corn, add to bowl
-Season with a couple pinches of salt, 2 TB of sugar, a little cracked black pepper and a few splashes of some red wine vinegar
-Toss to combine and let sit at room temperature for an hour or so so the watermelon juices come out to play. Stir occasionally
-Cut 3/4 of a package of bacon into bite-sized pieces and pan-fry until crispy, drain on paper towels and set aside. (I just use my kitchen shears to snip the bacon over the skillet)
-Keep the bacon drippings in the hot pan while you…
-Cube 1/2 a loaf of stale Italian bread and toss that into the hot bacon grease. Stir to coat and cook until the bread is crispy. Set aside
-Right before you’re ready to eat…
-Chiffonade a handful of fresh basil and add that to the bowl with the watermelon
-Crumble a handful or so of good feta cheese and add that to the bowl
-Add your crispy bacon and bread cubes and toss thoroughly
-Serve at room temperature
(Serves 4-6)

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  • Reply Tinky June 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Another combination I'd never have thought of but love the sound of. Brava!

  • Reply Everyday Champagne November 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Oh thanks, Tinky!

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