Combine 3oz of olive oil with 3oz of lemon juice, black pepper, a pinch of salt, and 5-6 finely chopped mint leaves. Whisk thoroughly and taste, adjusting salt and pepper as needed. Do not add more mint yet; give it time to infuse before adding more. Set the mixture aside. It will separate, and that's ok.
Slice the watermelon across it's center so that you have large rounds, approximately 1" thick. Once you have your round, slice the round into 4 equal wedges, or 6 if it is a particularly large watermelon. Set aside.
Take your fennel bulb and slice it into wafer-thin slices. These will go in the salad raw, so you want to ensure they are thin enough to be pleasant.
Chiffonade approximately a 1/2 cup of basil. When finished, give your olive oil/lemon mixture a quick whisk and taste to see if you want more mint. All set? Good, now we get going.
Combine your arugula and mache and toss to combine. Add sliced fennel, dress with the lemon/olive oil mixture, and toss to thoroughly coat.
Lightly brush each side your watermelon slices with olive oil and place them over very high heat on the grill. The goal here is to get a little bit of char flavor before turning the watermelon to mush. After 30 seconds to a minute, flip the melon over and grill for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is a very quick process. Remove your slices from the grill and slice into equally sized "spears". I usually shoot for a wedge about 1 1/2" to 2" across at the base, narrowing up to a nice point. Sprinkle them with a little maldon salt if you have it. Kosher salt will also be fine, but avoid iodized salt.
Plate your lettuce mixture and arrange your melon slices in a manner pleasing to you. Sprinkle slivered almonds, cotilla cheese, and basil chiffonade over the top, and enjoy immediately.
Pair with our Balverne Rose of Pinot Noir.
Tip: For a little bit more luxury, slice proscuitto into small pieces and quickly fry them in a pan to crisp them up. Toss them with your lettuces for a rich, salty counterpoint to the freshness of the melon.
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