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This hearty Watermelon Panzanella with Balsamic Reduction salad is as gorgeous as it is tasty. Fancy it up by cutting watermelon in holiday-themed shapes or keep it simple with cubes. Serve it family-style or take it to-go in stacked salad, making sure to add the ciabatta last. Save time by using store bought reduced balsamic!

Serves 4 as a side dish

Watermelon Panzanella with Balsamic Reduction
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    For the Panzanella:
  • 2 cups (500 mL) ciabatta bread (or preferred type of bread), cubed or cut into strips
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups (500 mL) seedless watermelon, cubed or cut into star shapes
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (85 mL) crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup (125 mL) fresh blueberries
  • For the Balsamic Reduction:
  • 1/3 cup (85 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Arrange the bread cubes/strips on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the bread bakes, combine the watermelon, basil, mint and feta in a large bowl. Let sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine the balsamic and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the mixture reduced to about 1/4 cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a small glass bowl, and let cool completely.
  4. Before serving, toss the bread and blueberries with the watermelon mixture in the large bowl. Then, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and toss to combine. Check seasonings and adjust, if needed. Serve cold.

This recipe was kindly provided by our featured member, the National Watermelon Promotion Board!

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