Mmmmmm. I love a killer salad. And Watermelon and Feta Salad is just that. Grilled watermelon. Yeah. It totally wants to be grilled. It is soooo good that instead of the polite, “No. You go ahead. I insist.” people will will avoid eye contact to grab an extra spoonful. The recipe is out of Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook. It’s coming out this Tuesday! A big thank you to Quadrille for letting me share the recipe with you! My review of the book is right after the recipe.
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Recipes excerpted with permission from Fire Food by Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ), published by Quadrille May 2018, RRP $22.99 hardcover.
Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad
I love a salad, especially one with feta! It’s like a naughty and nice salad all in one. The best salads have cheese, and this recipe also works with grilled halloumi.
BBQ set-up: Half and half technique
½ watermelon, cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) slices
50g (1 ¾ oz / 1/3 cup) pine nuts
200g (7oz) feta cheese, cut into chunks
Small bunch of mint, leaves picked
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
100g (3 ½ oz / ¾ cup) pitted black olives
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
Juice of ½ lime
Remove the rind from your watermelon and grill the slices over the direct heat. Once you have some lovely char from the grill on one side, flip over. I usually grill my watermelon for 3–4 minutes a side.
You want to keep most of the moisture in the flesh, but you’ll struggle to get a good char until some of the outer moisture has been cooked off. Allow the watermelon to cool, then cut into cubes, removing as many of the seeds as you can.
Toast the pine nuts in a small dry frying pan (skillet) over the direct heat, until golden.
Grab a big old bowl, chuck in all your ingredients and gently toss. There ya go.
My review of the book……
Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook
Author: Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ)
This is a terrific BBQ book! I have a collection of barbecue and grilling books, and this is a lovely addition. He’s got nice strong flavors, and there are some dishes and methods that are fun things I hadn’t thought of before. There are both grilling and smoking recipes in the book. The author has a whimsical, easy-breezy, high-energy tone.
There are beautiful, inspirational photographs throughout. It’s a very giftable book with cool, recessed cover lettering, and nice thick pages.
My thoughts and pics of the recipes I’ve tried:
1-2) Za’atar and Honey Glazed Spatchcock Chicken – p 94. We love spatchcock chicken on the grill. Super moist and it cooks through perfectly. The za’atar and honey flavor are beautiful.
2-3) Babaganoush – p 140. I never thought of making babaganoush down in the coals! It’s a total game changer. The smoky flavor is brilliant.
4-5) Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad – p 162. Oooooh. I think this is my favorite thing in the book. It tastes so special. It’s the kind of salad that everyone is competitive over, rather that giving the polite, “No. You go ahead. I insist.”
6) The Perfect Butt – Pulled Pork – p 44. Great pulled pork. I wrapped it in the butcher paper, but skipped the foil til the rest, so it could keep absorbing the smoky flavor.
7-9) Baby Back Ribs with Szechuan Mopping Sauce – p 58. Yummy ribs. The Szechuan peppers are a nice background note here. It’s not overly spicy at all.
9-10) Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law! Baked Beans – p 155. These are very unusual baked beans. Half of the volume of the dish is vegetables.
9 & 11) Dirty Carrots with Maple Syrup and Cumin – p 139. This is the only one we’re not crazy about. I thought it was too much char, but my fire might have been hotter than his coals.
12) French Toast Grilled Cheese – p 21. Wonderful. Everyone loved this super decadent breakfast.
13) Crab Cake Sandwich with Avocado and Corn Salsa – p 28. Delicious. The recipe makes way more of the tropical salsa than will fit on those burgers, so someone gets a refreshing, light lunch the next day.
14) Smoky, Tangy, Cheesy Meatbally Sub Sandwich from SmokyCheeseBallVille – p 36. Total yeah. My kids loved this. The marinara has a big puttanesca vibe with the garlic, capers and anchovies. This should be planned as a linner, because it’s plenty filling for lunch and dinner.
Some others I have flagged to try: Korean Philly Cheesesteak – p 25 * The Ultimate Cheeseburger – p 77 * Butterflied Wild Venison Haunch in Oyster Sauce – p 88 * Prawn Tacos with Grilled Watermelon Salsa – p 99 * The Perfect Steak – Smacked Ribeye – p 100 * Scallops with Grilled Pineapple and Chorizo – p 114 * Beach Bar Grilled Octopus – p 122 * Dirty Loaded Lobster Rolls – p 128 * Dirty Oyster Taco – p 131 * Hank’s Poutine – p 171
*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.
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