August 20: Lunchbreak - Chef Matthew Lyon Makes Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad
Blue Plate Catering
www.BluePlateChicago.com


Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad
Ingredients:
1 Ice Box or Jubilee Seedless Watermelon
1 lb whole Feta Cheese
1 head Lola Rosa or Baby Red Romaine
1 head Baby Frisee
4 oz. pistachio nuts, toasted
2 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 French Shallots, peeled and diced
Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
125ml Ice Wine Vinegar, reduced
4 oz serrano or prosciutto ham, thinly sliced
2 oz Micro Opal Basil or Green Hawaiian Basil
Fleur de Sel , as needed
fresh ground black pepper, as needed

Directions:
With the Watermelon, cut off the ends and slice off the rind from top to bottom following the curve of the melon. Cut the melon into 1 inch square logs, doing the same with the Feta cheese. Slice 1/4 inch slices from the log and these will be the pieces that are stacked for the napoleon. Clean the Baby Lola Rosa and Frisee and place in a bowl, season with Fleur de Sel and pepper, do not dress the greens. On medium heat in a small sauce pan reduce the Ice wine Vinegar by half to the consistency of syrup. Dice the shallots and jalapeno, roughly chop the pistachios and add to the shallots and chilis. To the relish add the Ice Wine Syrup and Virgin Olive Oil or Basil Oil if available. Thinly slice the Serrano Ham or if purchased sliced, simply place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until crispy.

To Present:
On the desired platter or plate begin to stack the watermelon and feta alternating colors, leaving enough room between for the greens mixture. Start with the watermelon and end with the watermelon. The natural sweetness from the melon is needed to assist in the balancing of the salty and brininess of the Feta. There should be one more slice of melon than Feta Cheese. Once the Napoleons are built, place small piles of the greens in between the stacks and drizzle them with the olive oil and Ice Wine Syrup. Place a small spoonful of relish on top of the Napoleon. And top that with the crispy Serrano Ham. Place a small amount of the Micro Opal Basil on the greens or a Chiffonade of green Hawaiian basil if the opal is not available. Drizzle the plate with a bit more of the syrup and olive oil and your dish is complete.