Grilled Watermelon Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Charred Beets (Paleo, Primal)
I hope you had a lovely July 4th weekend! Isn’t summer just The Best? I did all of my favorite things – farmers market, slept in, walked, hit golf balls, created recipes, wrote, took pictures, sat in the sun, tidied my house, sipped fauxtails, read.
The highlight was spending the 4th at Stephanie March’s with Erik, his parents and sister, Tracy Morgan, and Joy Summers, feasting and relaxing to the point of drowsiness, except for maniacal laughing, which is good for digestion and staying awake.
Joy brought her adorable children and we borrowed some of their magic. Stephanie’s hospitalitarian children are always gracious and if I ever owned a restaurant – which I won’t – I would hire them immediately.
To kick off the weekend, I had a flipping incredible meal at Saint Dinette with lovely Amanda Paa of Heartbeet Kitchen and our fellas Brian and Erik. Please tell me that you’ve eaten there, it’s divine, thank you. The menu changes often and is a delightful expression of Chef Adam Eaton’s interests and talent. Adam’s Instagram account is a must-follow, not just because Erik is (stunningly) taking the photos, but because you ache for the food to jump out of your phone and into your mouth. (Most of the dishes are GF naturally and they’re happy to leave bread or croutons off where applicable. Follow my Instagram restaurant meals and ordering tips at #freshtartpicks.)
We shared chilled melon gazpacho (I intend to recreate, using this melon soup as the base); pork tacos with pineapple, brown butter (yep), and crema (best tacos in the Twin Cities, easily); crinkle fries (yay!); sweet and ethereal scallop crudo; perfect greens with green goddess dressing (current fave salad); a stunner tomato salad with burrata; steak bavette (a deeply beefy beauty); and a blast-from-the-past banana split, a grown up version that’s not one bit too sweet with plenty of salt and crunch.
So yeah, we rolled out of there, baha. Although, I love the menu because it’s so balanced, with light and fresh as well as richer options (read: the already famous double cheeseburger and decadent bologna sandwich).
And so! It’s been a week of deliberately lighter eating. #Detoxretox as we say. The melon gazpacho got me thinking about this marvelous watermelon salad, which I first shared a few years ago. Chef Jorge Guzman is the executive chef at Surly Brewing, fresh off winning Cochon 555 here in Minneapolis, as well as Surly’s Brewers Table being named to Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Restaurants 2016.
Enjoy (again)! xoxo Stephanie
Grilled Watermelon Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Charred Beets
Chef Jorge Guzman
3 medium beets
12 cherry tomatoes
2 1/2-inch thick slices seedless watermelon, cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbsp. pepper jelly
2 Tbsp. goat cheese
handful pea shoots or microgreens
coarse sea salt olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Preheat grill.
Wrap beets individually in foil. Set on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 1 hour. Unwrap beets and cool to room temperature. Peel and quarter beets.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then quickly drain and rinse with cold water. Slip the skins off the tomatoes, leaving tomatoes whole.
Brush watermelon pieces with pepper jelly. Set pieces jelly-side down on hot grill for 2 minutes, or until lightly charred. At the same time, set beet quarters on grill for 2 minutes.
To serve salad, place two slices of watermelon on each plate. Top with grilled beets and tomatoes. Scatter goat cheese and pea shoots over the salad, then drizzle with sherry vinaigrette. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and serve immediately.
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Store leftover vinaigrette in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.