Watermelon and Watercress Salad
For extra flavor, add a few Spicy Roasted Peanuts (page 274) to the dressing before processing. The dressing yields ⅓ cup.
¼ cup rice vinegar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon chili sauce
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame paste or peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
2 cups watercress
1 small tomato
1 leaf Romaine lettuce, shredded
10 1-inch cubes of watermelon, green peel and seeds removed
For the dressing, place the rice vinegar, lemon juice, chili sauce, sesame oil, sesame paste, and water in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Wash the watercress. Drain thoroughly, and remove the stems. Cut the tomato into thin slices.
Toss the watercress with the Romaine lettuce and tomato. Place in a serving bowl and add the watermelon cubes. Drizzle the dressing over. Refrigerate leftover dressing in a sealed jar. It will keep for 3–4 days.
Peanut Butter Is a Substitute
The more authentic version of this dish uses sesame paste. Made from toasted sesame seeds, sesame paste has a sweet flavor similar to peanut butter, which makes a convenient substitute. Although it is also made from ground sesame seeds, the Middle Eastern tahini is not a good substitute for sesame paste: It is made with untoasted sesame seeds, giving it a very different flavor.