Watermelon with Queso Fresco, Roasted Pepitas and Balsamic Gastrìque
Happy Friday! After week 5 of eight has brought an unsuccessful attempt at trying to create an Asian style pasta salad, I decided to make some sexy food for us to enjoy.
Sometimes I find it amazing what you can do with $0.50 worth of food. In this case, using the plate as my palate, I am able to create a light and refreshing amuse/salad with many textures and complex flavors that all marry together quite nicely. This is definitely a dish that allows you eat with your eyes. What does this salad that can easily cost you $10 or more at some trendy high rent restaurant contain? How about a few items that are in every level of grocery store no matter where you live. With these kinds of dishes it doesn't take much cooking skill, just knowledge of your ingredients and imagination.
Here is what I used...
-1 personal "seedless" watermelon (cut into 1" cubes)
-1/4 small block of Queso fresco (cut into 3/4" cubes)
-1/4 cup roasted seasoned pepitas (pumpkin seeds, leave 1/2 whole, grind other 1/2 in spice grinder for garnish)
-2 radishes (shaved on mandolin)
-A few drops of balsamic (see recipe HERE)
-A dash of Spanish extra virgin olive oil
-A sprinkle of Murray River Sea Salt
There are countless ways to prepare this dish, I happened to choose an abstract approach but you can just as easily place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss. If this was the case, I would use white balsamic to conserve the red color of the watermelon. But since there is almost no cooking involved, I will let you choose your method of preparation.
In this picture I have displayed the whole plate or "painting". When creating edible art, keep it simple and elegant. Try to let the individual ingredients speak while creating a marriage with their respected counter ingredients.
That's it for this week. Remember... It's ok to play with your food. See you soon.
You can find this whole post and the recipe for balsamic on James website, the Feeding Post. Enjoy!