Usually I wouldn't post a variation on a published recipe unless I'd made substantial adaptations, which isn't the case here. However, there are several versions of this already online (not that multiple wrongs make a right!) and my adaptations mean you don't require a food processor, which Jamie's original recipe did call for. I figure this could be useful to a few of you, so am posting my twist on the recipe below. I also left off Jamie's crunchy noodle topping, which means you don't need to do any heat-based cooking to throw this together.
If you eat seafood, Jamie has another watermelon salad on his 15 minute meal website, in the form of a prawn and watermelon salad. I imagine that would be an equally lovely summer dish.
For those of you in wintry climates, I know watermelon will be in short supply. However, summer will roll around again (truly!) and I hope you might enjoy this too when that happens.
Watermelon and noodle salad
Lightly adapted from Jamie Oliver's Asian watermelon salad. All credit goes to Jamie for the basic recipe concept.
A genuine 15 minute meal!
Serves 4 as a generous side or light meal, or 6-8 as a smaller side dish
150g thin rice (vermicelli) noodles
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 baby cos lettuces (also known as little gem lettuces, or use another crisp lettuce), roughly torn
1 small fennel bulb, outer layers removed and finely sliced into thin sticks
4-6 radishes, finely sliced
Half bunch of fresh mint, leaves roughly chopped
Half bunch of coriander, stems and leaves roughly chopped
1/4 large watermelon (preferably seedless), cut into pieces
Place the rice noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and allow to soften for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. You may want to cool these in the fridge, to ensure they are fully cool before adding to the salad.
Make the salad dressing by combing the chopped shallot and ginger, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and lime juice in a bowl or jug. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a large serving or mixing bowl, combine the lettuce, fennel, radishes, and most of the mint and coriander. Add the noodles and toss to combine. Pour over the salad dressing, and then add the watermelon pieces. Toss again to mix all ingredients. Top with remaining mint and coriander.
Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge until needed. This will keep well for 48 hours, but is fresher when served within 4 - 6 hours.
Do you like fruit in savoury salads? I adore the combination, especially in summer.