Ask A Chef: Compressed Watermelon And Feta SaladRecipe By: Karan Suri
Chef Karan Suri of Fairmont Waterfront shares his recipe for Compressed Watermelon And Feta Salad.
Q: The watermelon salad I had at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel in Vancouver was amazing: It was incredibly flavorful and so refreshing. I’d love to know how it’s made. — David, Calgary
A: Chef Karan Suri compresses his watermelon for three to four hours in the freezer, creating a crisp, firm texture with an explosion of watermelon flavor. The salad is easy to make, and the compression intensifies the taste of the fresh ingredients. He serves it very cold, paired with heirloom tomatoes, feta, a drizzle of olive oil, avocado cream and a touch of mint.
- 1⁄2 small seedless watermelon
- 2 colorful heirloom tomatoes
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh mint
- Peel watermelon and cut in half. Trim round edges to create square or rectangle. Cut watermelon into four 1⁄2″-thick portions.
- Place watermelon in large heavy-duty zip-top bags, ensuring pieces are flat and close to one another. Seal bags, removing as much air as possible. Lay bags flat on a baking sheet or tray. Place another baking sheet or tray on top; weigh down with heavy items, such as cans. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
- For dressing, purée together olive oil, lime juice, avocado, salt and pepper. Stir in mint.
- To assemble salad, quarter tomatoes and toss with arugula and olive oil. Use bottom of spoon to spread 1 tbsp of dressing on each plate. Divide compressed watermelon and tomato-arugula mixture among plates. Top with feta and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve immediately, so watermelon remains chilled.