Todd English is kind of a dreamboat. His restaurants are intimate and charming, he’s like the Loulou de Falaise of the food industry, and he answers my emails. When I asked him to whip up a summer salad recipe for our readers, of course he happily complied. Why? Because he loves you (almost) as much as we do. Or, maybe we’re tied. I’m not keeping score. The point is, the man does not disappoint. So today, complement your three-martini lunch with a delightful salad and raise them glasses to the man behind one of Boston’s biggest brands. xo heather

Watermelon Feta Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

4- 3 oz square cut cubes of watermelon
4 – 1 oz square cut cubes of feta cheese (same shape as watermelon)
4 large mint leaves, chiffonade cut
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium sized fennel bulb, sliced very thinly using a mandolin or meat slicer
¼ cup chopped, pitted, black olives
1 medium shallot, finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon and zest
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure: On a small plate, marinade feta cheese, mint leaves, and oregano with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Top with fresh cracked black pepper. In a small bowl, toss together shaved fennel, pitted olives, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly: Season watermelon with salt and place cubed watermelon on a plate. Place one cube of marinated feta on each watermelon cube. Top with a small spoonful of the black olive mixture, and top off with a teaspoon of the remaining olive oil from the feta marinade.

Serves 4: 1 cube per person

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