Photo Courtesy Jane Restaurant
This time of the year, with temperatures routinely in the nineties, no fruit is more refreshing than watermelon. Those seeking a break from the heat can enjoy the cool taste of chilled watermelon salad with feta cheese. To find out the best way to combine the sweet and salty components, we turned to Chef Glenn Harris from restaurant Jane in New York City. He shared the recipe for one of his signature dishes that's on the menu at Jane until mid-September – "Watermelon & Yellow Tomato Tartare with Baby Arugula and Catapano Goat Cheese Vinaigrette." (Catapano is a soft and creamy, feta-like cheese made with goat's milk from Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic, N.Y., near Long Island's North Fork.)
Harris' mix of sweet crisp watermelon, aromatic herbs, including basil, arugula, and chives and savory goat cheese creates a delicious mouthwatering blend. "I was at a farm stand in Bridgehampton and these ingredients were featured so I threw them together," says Harris. "It's a great combination of salty, peppery, sweet and crunchy." Indeed, the balance of tastes and textures is sublime.
While we didn't have yellow tomatoes to produce the perfect array of colors the recipe called for, the red tomatoes we used tasted just as juicy mixed in with all the ingredients. Afterward, we made the cheese vinaigrette. If the Catapano isn't available, Harris suggests using an imported goat's milk Greek feta as a substitute.
Whether it's served at a barbecue or a formal dinner, Harris' watermelon and goat cheese salad is the ideal summertime dish. Check out the recipe below:
1 cup watermelon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup yellow tomato, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups arugula, chopped
8 Basil leaves, torn
Pinch sea salt
8 coarse grinds black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
Toss all ingredients together.
6 oz. Catapano goat cheese feta, crumbled
½ cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs snipped chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spoon vinaigrette over tartare.