Efisio Farris

"In my hometown of Orosei, bitter greens like arugula and dandelion grow alongside watermelons, so this salad is a natural combination for me," says chef Efisio Farris. The recipe is a fabulous blend of juicy (watermelon) and crunchy (red onions and walnuts). For anyone who thinks raspberry vinegar went out with the '90s, this fruity vinaigrette will be a revelation. More Summer Fruit Recipes
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Efisio Farris, the executive chef at Arcodoro in Houston, says that his mother used only eggplants from the first pick of the season (le primizie) for this dish because of their supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor without a hint of bitterness. But if you don't have the primizie option, you should seek out firm, heavy eggplants with smooth, evenly colored skin. Check for ripeness by pressing them lightly; if this leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ready to use.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips