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Grilled Watermelon with Goat Cheese and Crispy Pancetta

Grilled Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese and Crispy Pancetta
Serves 4

 3 lb. chunk of ripe watermelon, sliced into 8 triangles, about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick each. Cut away the rind from each slice. – $3.11
4 oz. log goat cheese, crumbled, either a French Chevre or Montrachet – $3.99
3 oz. thinly sliced Pancetta or Capocollo -$5.49
1 cup Balsamic vinegar – stock
2 Tablespoons honey or sugar – stock
Extra virgin olive oil – stock
Coarse sea salt – stock
Fresh finely cracked black pepper – stock
Snipped chives for garnish – optional
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $12.59
Total Per Serving: $3.15

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a medium size, rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Place the Pancetta slices on the foil and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake an additional 2 minutes until crispy and curled at the edges. Transfer to paper towels and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, pour the vinegar into a small saucepan; add the sugar or honey and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the flame and simmer, stirring frequently, until syrupy and reduced to about ¼ cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

3. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat (or an outdoor grill.) Using a pastry brush, lightly paint the watermelon slices with olive oil to thinly coat. Transfer to the hot grill pan or barbeque. Note: If using an outdoor grill, coat the grill with some olive oil, as well. Grill each slice about 2 minutes on each side until grill marks appear. Transfer to a plate and season with the sea salt.

4. Assemble the salads: Slice each piece of watermelon into 4 pieces and divide equally between 4 plates. Top each salad with 2 or 3 slices of the crisped pancetta; follow with crumbled goat cheese and then drizzle a bit of olive oil and the balsamic reduction over each salad. Season each serving with black pepper, garnish with fresh chives, if desired, and serve immediately.