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Recipe Name: Watermelon Salad with French Feta Cheese and Wild Arugula and Lavender Honey
Recipe Chef: Tony Najiola
Type of Cuisine: California-Mediterranean
Food Category: Appetizer

Recipe Description: A summer salad featuring local watermelon and French-style feta cheese with an interesting infused honey technique.

Serves: 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lavender buds
1/4 cup mild honey
1 ounce red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups red and yellow (optional) watermelon, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and drained
1/4 cup finely shaved red onion
1 bunch mature arugula, washed and dried (mint is nice also)
1 cup crumbled French-style feta cheese

1. For the lavender honey: In a small saucepan, melt the butter until it bubbles. Crumble the lavender buds into the butter and cook until fragrant and lavender is starting to crisp.

2. Strain the lavender butter through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside the liquids. Clean the saucepan and add the honey and infused butter. Warm slightly over low heat and keep warm.

3. For the red wine vinaigrette: macerate the minced shallots in the red wine vinegar for 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. To assemble the salad, place the watermelon, onion, arugula, and cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently.

5. Serve the salad on individual plates or bowls, sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over all the servings, and drizzle the honey on top. Enjoy!

Central Market: Recipe 15 November,2007Check, Please! Bay Area

  • Vicki Marchant

    Hey Nonno (Ed). Congrats on the great show! You didn’t look a day over a Septagenarian! Too bad they didn’t give us the recipe for the prongs. They didn’t mention you are a grandfather of five and a great-grandfather of seven! I think after suriving that many kids you deserve to be choosy about your bread! I’ll pay the $10 for your autograph (he told me it was $5 before the show aired)! Vicki

  • Duane Anderson

    After eating this salad at Central Market, my wife and I have made it at least 7-8 times at home. We didn’t have the recipe and so experimented a bit. I found a jar of lavender honey which when whisked with some watermelon juice made an acceptable dressing. This recipe also works well with cantaloupe and honeydew melons or a mix of all three. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes, you may just find a favorite. Duane

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