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Grilled Watermelon Salad and Pickled Radishes, Fleeting

I’ve been in sort of a tizzy this week. I was crazy nervous to see the Cooking Channel segment that Matt and I filmed ages ago with Tracy and Megan, a completely surreal experience. It happened and I talked (very seriously) about being obsessed with poaching eggs. We had a little viewing party with friends the other night and it was just so nice to have such a great group of supporters surrounding us as we crowded around our television β€” many of us on the floor. I sat next to Matt, holding his hand and at the end of it, he gave me a little kiss that just said, “We made this together. This place that people come to.” There I was, with my husband next to me, and a room full of friends, having just talked to my mom and dad and my heart felt full.

It’s been a weird week in the world, don’t you think? Chaos in the financial markets, riots in the UK, and a personal story that seems to have touched virtually everyone in the food community: the death of blogger Jennie Perillo‘s husband. Even though so many of us have probably never met her, reading her blog and her tweets, and trying to wrap our heads around someone in their 30s, with two small children, having a heart attack….Well, it just was heartbreaking, for lack of a better word. We are fragile. Old age is fragile, but youth is fragile, too.

These moments, these times we have with our families and friends. They are fleeting. I am reminded of this on occasion, when I get caught up in the details of life.

Every summer, when I feel like my belly will explode from all of the peaches, cherries, strawberries, corn, tomatoes, nectarines, and apricots that I eat, I am reminded of nature’s time. Everything has its time. Watermelon reminds me of youth and warmth, of summers outdoors, and sticky fingers. I eat it every summer as though it will be the last time the watermelon will ever have its season.

Let’s eat watermelon together. Always like it’s the last time.

Grilled Watermelon Salad
*serves 2
my take on this salad, from Bon Appetit

half of 1 small watermelon, sliced into wedges, with the rind removed
1 handful of toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of pretty salad leaves (I used a mix from my farmer’s market)
1 large stem of basil
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus more
2 ounces of feta cheese
pickled radishes*, to taste

*Recipe, below.

1. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat and add the basil. Let the basil cook for several minutes, releasing its flavor into the oil. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
2. Preheat an indoor grillpan and brush it with oil. Place the watermelon wedges down on the grill and cook for two minutes, without moving them. Flip the wedges and grill on the other side, until you see some beautiful char marks. Remove the watermelon and set aside.
3. Toss the salad leaves with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
4. Arrange the salad: place a few wedges of grilled watermelon on each plate. Top with some salad leaves, a few sliced, pickled radishes, toasted pepitas and feta. Drizzle with the basil oil (you’ll have more than you need, so save some for another use).

Pickled Radishes
adapted from Bon Appetit

10 large radishes, trimmed and quartered
10 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
2 cups of vinegar
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of sugar

1. Sterilize a 1-quart glass jar. Then, add the radishes, garlic and peppercorns.
2. Pour in the vinegar and add the salt and sugar. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar until the sugar and salt dissolve.
3. Refrigerate the radishes for a couple of days. Shake the jar (if you remember) once per day.

Musical Pairings: Evenings – Lately + Grilled Watermelon Salad

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Gorgeous salad, Kasey and beautiful words. I plan to make the creamy peanut pie for Mikey that Jennifer requested. Things do feel a bit upside-down lately with all of the news.

    p.s. congrats on your Foodography feature! I hope there’s some way for me to view it because I just know it’s great πŸ™‚

  • Simple things combine best to create something amazing. A beautiful tribute to the flavors of summer!

  • Gorgeous photo, gorgeous words. Cheers, Kasey.

  • Janet

    It was so fun to see you guys on TV. Hey, I know them! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder to appreciate what we’ve got, now. I, for one, insist that everyone eat as much corn on the cob, watermelon and peaches as possible before it’s too late!

  • wow, looks refreshing! I’m on it!

  • Megan Gordon

    Great post, Kasey. It has been a weird week, hasn’t it? I so missed being there with you guys to watch the segment… my doctor just informed me that stone fruit makes people fat. Not a nice thing to say to a peach-loving baker in the midst of summer. Geesh. Here’s to watermelon (and peaches!) xo.

  • Urgh, what doesn’t make you fat these days?! Boo. No, seriously. I eat like 3 peaches a day. Your doctor would clearly be horrified. We missed you toooooo. I hope you are having a good week.. More watermelon! xoxo

  • Thanks for doing your part, J! xoxo

  • Thanks, Aida! xx

  • Why, thank you! xx

  • Thanks, Nicole! It was fun to watch us on TV. And I saw your pie photo – just beautiful. xo

  • Love this. I am really bummed that I don’t have cable and couldn’t watch – you guys plus Mo Rocca?!?! He is my favorite guest on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. AND I am so excited about this salad, especially the grilled watermelon.

  • Ooh I’ve never had grilled watermelon before! Must try before summer vanishes, so fleeting, as you say. Thank you for inviting us to yours for the viewing party on Tuesday. We had a fabulous time with such great food and company, and of course, the entertainment! I need to get an egg-poaching lesson from you now, half of the eggs I try to poach end up breaking. Here’s to a great summer weekend to you and Matt! xo

  • Janet

    I’m sorry, what?! God I hate your doctor. πŸ™‚

  • Cally

    Wow, that’s my kind of food but with a grilled twist I’ve never tried, looks and sounds amazing. I’d add some beetroot (because I accidentally ordered 4 kilos instead of 4 individual beets – oops).

  • Hey Cally- mmm, that’s an interesting combo. Lots of sweetness (esp. if you roast the beets). I might actually thinly slice them raw.

  • i like to eat grilled Salad, thank you for delicious Salad

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