Thai Watermelon Salad with Crunchy Watermelon Rind
|Source||Recipe from Root to Stalk Cooking by Tara Duggan.|
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
Most recipes that call for lemongrass only use the bulbous bottom parts, but here you can use the leftover top part of the stalks, or use 2 whole lemongrass stalks.
To make the lemongrass syrup, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves (about 2-3 minutes). Add the lemongrass stalks, return to a simmer, and cook until the lemongrass flavor is infused into the syrup (about 5-7 minutes). Let cool, then strain.
To make the salad, remove the white rind from the watermelon. Chop the melon flesh into ¾-inch cubes and refrigerate until serving. Cut the rind into strips until you have 2 cups. Place in a small bowl and add 2 Tbsp of the lemongrass syrup, 2 Tbsp of the lime juice, 1 Tbsp of the fish sauce, the shallot, basil, and half of the serrano. Toss to combine, then cover to marinate, and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
To serve, place the cold watermelon cubes in a large bowl and cover with the marinated rind and its juices. Season with the remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp fish sauce, and the other half of the serrano pepper. Add the spinach and gently toss. Serve immediately while cold.