Sunday, August 21, 2011

Watermelon and feta steaks

This is in imitation of a watermelon steaks appetizer from Abbatoir that I had a few weeks ago. It's a really pretty, really simple first course that hits sweet, salty, tangy and spicy all at the same time. At Abbatoir they use watermelon rind pickles but I didn't have any so I just made a quick pickle with thin slices of vidalia onion marinated for a few hours in 1/4 cup cider vinegar, a little olive oil, plus two teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.You'll need a sweet, in-season watermelon...You'll only need enough to cut 4 long bricks. Save the rest for snacking on all week long.I cut these by slicing two thick wedges and trimming them down into 2 pieces each.Gather about a quarter cup each of mint and basil leaves...Mince them all up together and set aside. They'll go on top.I wanted a mild, not-too-sharp feta--the cheese gal at Whole Foods thought this would do the trick. Cut it into slabs to fit on top of your watermelon.And you'll need some heat! I don't know what kind of peppers these were but they were aromatic, fruity and quite hot.De-seed them unless you're really a masochist. I touched my eyes after this accidentally by the way...regrets, I've had a few.And slice them into thin strips.Assembly is easy! Slab of feta over the watermelon...
Then vidalia pickle tucked in and around the melon, plus peppers and basil/mint mixture right on top. I sprinkled with a little crushed black pepper as well, right before serving.