Chef Michael Costa
Washington, D.C. restaurant Zaytinya celebrates the lusty flavors and colorful foods of the Mediterranean in shareable dishes featuring seasonal ingredients. Here, chef Costa makes the most of U.S.-grown watermelon, abundant through the end of September, combining it with Greek honey, olives, mint and feta cheese for a refreshing end-of-summer salad.
1 tsp. Greek honey
1 oz. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 lb. red seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch-thick piece with rind removed
1/2 lb. yellow seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch-thick piece with rind removed
6 whole kalamata olives
6 mint leaves
1 scallion, green top only
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Into large mixing bowl, squeeze lemon. Whisk in honey; add olive oil in a thin stream to make a creamy emulsion dressing.
2. Cut watermelon into 3/4-inch cubes and place in mixing bowl with dressing.
3. Cut olives in half around pit then press sides to release olive from pit. Discard pit. Cut olive pieces into thin slivers and place in bowl with watermelon.
4. Finely slice mint and scallions crosswise and place in bowl with watermelon.
5. Toss everything together except feta. Taste watermelon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, divide watermelon mixture among 4 serving bowls. Garnish with feta and drizzle with olive oil.
Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board