Melon and Avocado Salad with Marinated Squid, Chili, and Lime

Source: Ryan Pollnow, Central Kitchen

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program as part of the Eat Drink SF Preview Series on July 5, 2014.

Serves 4


Pickled Watermelon Rind
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups water
2 cups rice vinegar
2 cups sugar
Watermelon rind, white part only (enough to yield 2 cups diced)

Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped mint
1 teaspoon chili paste

Poached Squid
1½ cups water
1½ cups Riesling
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ red onion, diced
1 slice fresh ginger
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ pound fresh Monterey squid, cleaned and cut into ¼-inch rings

4 cups medium-diced melons (mixed varieties)
2 ripe avocados
8 large mint leaves, torn
¼ cup lemon olive oil


1.   To pickle the watermelon rind, in a medium bowl, mix the salt and water until the salt dissolves. Add the watermelon rind and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2.   The following day: In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

3.   Drain and rinse the watermelon and add it to the boiling vinegar. Lower the heat and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until translucent. Chill the whole mixture together.

4.   To make the vinaigrette, in a medium saucepan, bring the water, wine, garlic, onion, ginger, lemon, and salt to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow the broth to simmer for 10 minutes, then bring it back to a boil.

5.   Submerge the squid in the liquid and maintain a constant boil for 4 seconds. Remove the squid to a tray and cool immediately under refrigeration.

6.   To make the vinagrette, whisk all ingredients and reserve.

7.   To assemble the salad, dress the poached squid in chili-lime vinaigrette and marinate for 30 to 45 minutes.

8.   Divide the melon and arrange on 4 chilled salad plates. Cut the avocados into large wedges and arrange them around the melon. Drain any excess vinaigrette from the squid and drizzle around the melon. Garnish with about ¼ cup of the pickled melon rind (divided between the plates) and the mint leaves. Drizzle with the lemon olive oil.

Photo courtesy of Eat Drink SF.

Farmers Market Ingredients