Recipes for the season: Grilled Watermelon with Balsamic Reduction

By Chef Rich Baringer,

While the calendar says it’s September, it’s still summer for a while. And even though the days of fresh watermelon are numbered, they aren’t over yet. So why not try a different way to serve watermelon?

As I’ve said in other posts, I love combining ingredients and flavors that, on the surface, don’t seem like they would work together. This recipe has it all, combining juicy, sweet, smoky, tangy, salty. And the result is crazy good!

If you want, you can chop the melon to make a salad-type dish, but I like cutting the melon in wedges so you have some fun finger food, great for a picnic. Either way,  I think you’ll enjoy this interesting and tasty dish.

Watermelon with Balsamic Reduction

Serves 4
You can easily increase the recipe for more servings.


2 ½ lb watermelon, preferably seedless
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
½ cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Ground black pepper (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Pour vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency.  Set aside.
  3. Cut watermelon in half-moon slices.  Brush both sides of melon with veg oil.
  4. Clean and oil the grill grates. Grill watermelon about 2 minutes per side—until grill marks appear. (Try not to grill too long because the melon will get mushy.)  Transfer melon to a sheet pan and season with salt to taste. When cool, cut into smaller wedges.
  5. Place wedges on a platter. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with crumbled cheese. Finish with a bit of freshly ground pepper and extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.

Rich Baringer is chef/owner of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. Rich graduated from the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, is a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association. He owns Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service and feeds clients all over Bucks County delicious food. Rich grew up in Haycock Township and has lived (and eaten) in Bucks County his whole life. He now lives in Blooming Glen Village with his wife, Mary Beth, his son Jake, and their pup, Teddy.  For more information about Dinner’s Done PCS, contact Rich at 215.804.6438, or check out his website.

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