Feta, Watermelon & Mint Checkerboard Salad w/ aged balsamic vinegar

This is as much of an hors d’oeuvre as a salad to start a meal.  Watermelons are in season from May until September and this dish really pops when the melons are at their best and the feta is of high quality.  Of course, you do not need to spend an hour creating a checkerboard with your ingredients but this was the craftwork of Jack, one of the longest serving houseterns at Le Poisson Bleu.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of good quality feta cheese in brine, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large seedless watermelon, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint chopped, use the extra leaves for decorating the dish
  • Aged balsamic vinegar  (this makes the dish)

Making it

Unless you have a lot of time on your hands or a helpful housetern, just toss all of the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle the balsamic vinegar to taster, mix and serve immediately.  If you want to prepare ahead, keep all of the ingredients separate and mix just beforehand — after you drain the watermelon water.

*If you want to serve as an hors d’oeuvre, finely-chop the mint, toss it with the cubed melon and feta in a bowl.  Use bamboo toothpics and spear a cube of feta and watermelon and place them on a serving platter with a ramekin of aged balsamic vinegar.  The success of this simple dish is based solely on the quality of each ingredient.

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Bamboo Toothpick

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