Marinated Watermelon with Whipped Feta

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Chef Joe Kindred of Kindred restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina, lets watermelon sit in a savory marinade for 30 minutes to draw out the juices from the fruit and intensify its flavor. Slideshow: More Watermelon Recipes 

Marinated Watermelon with Whipped Feta
Photo: Eva Kolenko
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Yield:
8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • One 5-pound seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into 4-by-1-inch rectangles

  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon sumac

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 pound feta cheese, preferably Greek

  • 1/3 cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn

  • 1/3 cup lightly packed mint leaves, torn

  • 1/3 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves, chopped

  • Flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the shallot, ginger and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the marinade with kosher salt. Place the watermelon in a large resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pink and black peppercorns over moderately high heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool, then grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl and mix with the sumac and cayenne.

  3. In a food processor, puree the feta until smooth. With the machine on, drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.

  4. Spread the whipped feta on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove the watermelon from the marinade and arrange on the feta. Drizzle with some of the marinade and generously sprinkle with the spices. Garnish with the herbs and sea salt; serve.

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