Light and refreshing rocket, watermelon and ginger salad

MY APPETITE starts to fade in the very hot weather we've been dealing with in the past few weeks. Heavy foods are not a good idea at the best of times, but on humid sticky days it's much better to think light. 

A few weeks ago while I was on holiday, I ate a delicious salad, pretty as a picture, in a cafe. It consisted of three main ingredients: rocket, watermelon and pickled ginger, all tossed lightly in a tangy dressing.

As I often do, I came home and spent a day recreating the dish before my memory faded.

It's easy to make, looks terrific, and the ingredients complement each other perfectly. There's a peppery bite from the rocket and gentle heat from the ginger, while the watermelon provides crunch and sweetness.

Pickled ginger is available from Asian grocers, but if you have trouble finding it, email me and I will send you an easy recipe to make it at home.

I ate this salad as an accompaniment to salt and pepper squid, but it would go beautifully with anything you care to toss on the barbecue.

Rocket, watermelon, ginger salad


120g rocket leaves  

200g watermelon, rind removed  

30g pickled ginger  

60ml olive oil  

20ml white wine vinegar  

1 heaped tbs Dijon mustard  

1 tbs honey


Wash rocket leaves and spin dry, or pat with a paper towel.

Cut watermelon into 1cm slices, then into small wedges. Remove any seeds.

Toss together in a salad bowl the rocket, watermelon and pickled ginger.

Combine oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small screw-top jar. Shake vigorously until combined and thick.

Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Serves 4.

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