"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad and what I mean by "finicky"

Dear readers, allow me to expand on food-related topic, momentarily.

There are certain types of finicky eaters--say, the ones who have a "special order" in the middle of the Saturday night rush--whose food requests are so derailing that they make you want to put your own eyes out with a rosemary skewer.

There are other types of finicky eaters--the S.'s granddaughter E. is one of them--who are more like my cat, precise in their desires, full of love and gratitude when you get it right, and more amazingly, still affectionate and sweet when you get it wrong (even though they won't eat it).

It has occurred to me that E. might take umbrage at being referred to so off-handedly as "the finicky granddaughter" in my last post when she is so much more than that. I could write an entire post dedicated to E., who is my favorite among the grandchildren (the best of a wonderful bunch) and the only one I have folded into my own life.

So if you happen to see me refer to her again in such a manner, please picture her as a discerning and affectionate ginger cat, not as somebody who makes me want to put my eyes out.

I am a stealth chef, I realized yesterday. After mixing up Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad, I set it out on the lunch buffet without really disclosing the odd sounding ingredients, letting the salad do the talking instead.

Why? It sounds weird. But it tastes great. "Refreshing" was the word I heard most, closely followed by the phrase "unusual combination". The Gourmet Cookbook says "watermelon and tomatoes have a curious but genuine affection for each other," and they really do--I made a gazpacho with the same ingredients last summer that was extremely popular.

This one isn't on epicurious, but it's quick so I'll list the ingredients here:
3 lb. piece watermelon, chunked and seeded
2 lg. tomatoes, chunked
1 c. crumbled feta
2/3 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
2 tablespoons XVO
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

The next time I make this, I might mix without the feta and crumble that over last--it does tend to give everything a white film. Also, I doubled the recipe but did not double the cilantro (I'm not sure I even had as much as they asked for).

And if you're finicky (or even just precise), I'd urge you to try just a bite. Just one! You might like it. :-)

1 comment:

Eve said...

thanks for clearing that up! I am definitely a discerning and affectionate ginger cat. that's me to a T.

as far as the salad goes, I'd love to try it!! thanks for the recipe, I will attempt my hand at it sometime this summer.