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Cafe Panache's Grilled Watermelon Salad

Cafe Panache's Grilled Watermelon Salad 4.000

Marc Gold

Jul 18, 2007

Watermelon caramelizes ever so slightly when it's briefly grilled -- who knew? This is a popular salad at Cafe Panache in Ashburn.

The dressed watermelon, onion, cheese and olive mixture needs an hour in the refrigerator to let its flavors blend. It's best to compose the salads on individual plates just before serving.


Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 large slices seedless watermelon, about 1 1/2 inches thick (cut from the center)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into very thin strips (julienne)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 to 16 ounces baby or tender spinach, stemmed, washed and dried
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves, for garnish
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

Prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, heat it to medium. If using a charcoal grill, start the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. Oil the grate.

Grill the watermelon slices for 2 minutes, then turn over and grill for 2 minutes, until slightly caramelized on both sides. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for about 10 minutes, until slightly chilled.

Meanwhile, combine the onion, feta cheese and olives in a medium mixing bowl.

Cut the chilled watermelon into 1 1/2-inch cubes (discarding the rind), then add to the bowl, tossing lightly to combine.

Whisk together the oil and vinegar in a small bowl; add the salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the ingredients in the bowl, tossing to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours to marinate.

To serve, divide the spinach among individual plates. Spoon the watermelon mixture over the spinach, reserving some of the vinaigrette to drizzle on the plate. Sprinkle basil and mint to taste on each salad and serve immediately.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from chef Jeff Galkin.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 494


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 42g 65%

Saturated Fat: 10g 50%

Cholesterol: 33mg 11%

Sodium: 1076mg 45%

Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 9g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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