What is so great about a watermelon salad? Bacon! And a room with a view that is straight out of paradise. Here is my take on the Watermelon Bacon Salad Recipe
I have to tell you about my amazing stay in Hawaii. Usually, I am not the kind of girl to hang around the hotel, sit on the lawn or eat at hotel restaurants when I'm on vacation. We are usually going 90 miles an hour to see every sight we can see and ride every attraction we can find then, come back to the hotel at midnight and crash. I mean really, who pays for a hotel so they can stay at it? The Halekulani has changed me, turned me into one of those characters from a soap opera who lives in a hotel and hangs out in the glittery restaurant and has the staff cater to their every whim... yep, that's the new me.
My husband and I were lucky enough to stay at the Halekulani for our 35th Wedding Anniversary and I have to say... I am truly spoiled. We hardly even left the property. The Halekulani sits right on Waikiki Beach. Our room opened up right on the ocean and our balcony looked over the beach, the pool and the famous open air restaurant named House Without a Key. At night, we left the patio doors open for the live hula music to float in on the ocean breeze... Ok, ok, I'm not going all "poetic" on you but, really, it was beautiful!
One of my favorite things about our stay is the open air restaurant that is exactly what I picture when I think of Hawaii. House Without a Key is casual, it's right on the water, it has amazing food and live hula music—the soft pretty kind, not the wild tikki drum kind. Just what I pictured. Out of our 5 nights in Hawaii, we ate there 4 times (plus once at the "fancy" restaurant that has a roof... no walls... but a roof).
I have devised a master plan, on our next anniversary, we are going to check into the Halekulani, request our favorite room, then, never check out! What? It will too work! If we never check out, we won't have to pay the bill! In the mean time, I have recreated the Watermelon and Bacon Salad that I ate 4 out of 5 nights in Hawaii. How can a "foodie" like me eat the same thing for 4 nights? Bacon. Ok... and watermelon and pickled cucumber ribbons and bacon and thai basil and bacon...
Oooops! Don't forget the hula music and the view!
I added a skewer of grilled chicken one night and some coconut shrimp the next to turn this salad into a main dish. I hope you like it! Please leave me a comment on the blog or follow me on Facebook to let me know what you think.
- 8 to 10 ounces bacon, cooked crispy
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 small red onion, sliced paper thin
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 large, seedless watermelon
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes (more if desired)
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons minced Thai basil (may use regular basil, cilantro or parsley mixed with a little mint)
- Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel until cooled then crumble the bacon, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the orange juice, lime juice and sugar. Add the onion slices and toss, Set aside.
- Peel the cucumber with a potato peel then cut the cucumber into ribbons using the peeler. Cut the ribbons into segments about 4 inches long, if necessary. Set aside.
- Cut the watermelon into large, plate sized pieces by cutting the rounded ends off the watermelon then, set the watermelon on the "cut end" and cut the rind off the watermelon making a long rectangular "box" ( should resemble a shoe box). Cut the watermelon into 2 inch slices. Chill. Reserve the excess watermelon to make agua fresas or melon balls or melon popsicles).
- Remove the onions from the orange mixture reserving 3 tablespoons of the liquid. Stir the chile flakes, black pepper, salt, vegetable oil and half of the Thai basil into the orange mixture to make a vinaigrette. Taste the vinaigrette to see if more salt should be added, it should taste slightly over seasoned because it is going over all of the cucumbers. Toss the cucumbers in the vinaigrette.
- To Assemble:
- Place a watermelon square on each plate. Toss the onions, cucumbers and half of the crumbled bacon together with the remaining Thai basil and arrange on top of the watermelon squares.
- Garnish with remaining Thai basil and crumbed bacon.
- Note: To make an appetizer or side salad portion, cut the watermelon squares in half (making 12 rectangular pieces) then, add the cucumber/onion mixture and garnish.