Thursday, 24 July 2014

Refreshingly Different!

Anguria alla Griglia con Feta, Menta & Caperi
Grilled Watermelon with Feta, Mint and Capers

After a wonderful 10 day break in the south of Italy, with the temperatures here in Frankfurt almost as high and the humidity much higher, it was definitely an evening to be eating something cold and refreshing... and also something a little ""lighter" after the glorious excess of allowing myself to try EVERY LAST THING that caught my eye!

So here is my variation on the theme of watermelon and Feta cheese salad- in my version with grilled melon, capers and mint added to make it into a truly satisfying and delicious Summer dish!

What could be juicier or more refreshing than watermelon in the summertime, or more refreshing than mint? It's no wonder this combination, with the salty Feta cheese is so well-loved, but with these lovely, large caper-berries to add more contrast and plenty of black pepper, this really came into its own! Some good extra virgin olive oil at the end and a couple of slices of dark, pan-roasted bread... and that was supper!


Obviously, I do not need to repeat the ingredients to you yet again... but here is a pretty picture for you all the same Just so that you can see about how much of each ingredient I needed to make this one, generous serving.


Of course, as elegant as this dish is, you can serve it as an appetizer or a side dish for a Summer dinner party, as well as fix it for yourself as a light meal- it is very versatile and will go well with most all Summer fare.

And obviously, this needs very little explanation! The melon should be cut into decent-sized, bite-sized cubes that you can easily place and grip with tongs onto your griddle pan or outdoor grill.

Let the melon simply stay-put and sear... it is not as delicate as you may think, it will not dissolve away, but it WILL caramelize a little, sear on the outside and trap all of its juices on the inside... you will be surprised!


Strangely, although the sugars in the juice of the melon will cause it to caramelize and the juice that is trapped inside of each and every chunk of melon remains sweet, at the same time, the initial flavor changes slightly to taste a little more like a vegetable than a fruit. More like a Summer squash, lets say... which makes it go really well with the salty Feta cheese. mint and capers.

Once the melon is nicely browned, set it to one side and allow it to cool down for at least 10 minutes before arranging on your platter with the cheese, capers and mint. Sprinkle generously with coarsely ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil and you are ready to go!


The great thing is that when you bite into it, of course the melon is still very sweet and juicy on the inside- delicious! And yes, there will be juice seeping out a little onto your plate, which will combine with the olive oil and the saltiness of the capers and cheese- and that my friends tastes lovely soaked up with some crusty bread! 


I opted to "toast" a dark, rye bread on a dry frying pan, just as you would do if you were to be preparing bruschetta. I did not want to add oil and fry it into a bread chip or crouton, which you may like to do... I personally like to have the flavor of the pure, "un-cooked" olive oil in this kind of dish... so I shall leave the preparation of the bread up to you! But it IS an important component in making this into a perfect little meal. 


All of this deliciousness and next to no guilt! This is all healthy and all good! Try it and see for yourselves! And enjoy!

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