By Janis Jibrin, RD, Best Life lead nutritionist
Visiting Washington, D.C.? If so, you’ll inevitably wind up in the quaint neighborhood of Georgetown, which is also a bustling shopping mecca. My favorite place to have a bite is Kafe Leopold, a hidden oasis removed from the noise and crowds. The cuisine is loosely Austrian, and it happens to have some of the best salads in D.C. (Although, if you’re in a more decadent mood, the sausage, sauerkraut and spicy mustard is wonderful, as are the pastries).
I’d always loved Leopold’s Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta salad, but it just got even better—and more striking—after brand new executive chef Marcellus Coleman got ahold of it. He let me into the restaurant’s kitchen so I could watch him prepare the salad.
What to do with the rest of your watermelon? Turn in into yet another salad!
Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad
4 cubes (about 1½-inches each) of watermelon (about 1 cup total)
4 wedges of tomato, preferably heirloom (about ¾ cup total)
1½ tablespoons vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Dash of salt
1 sprig thyme, leaves removed (about ¼ to ½ teaspoon), stem discarded
1 heaping tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled
Pea greens, arugula or watercress for garnish (about ¼ cup)
Basil for garnish (about two teaspoons of either micro basil leaves or regular basil, roughly torn)
1. Gently toss watermelon and tomato with vinaigrette, salt and thyme in a bowl.
2. On a separate plate, alternate tomato and watermelon in a line.
3. Garnish with feta, greens and basil.
Optional: Put a few chunks of watermelon in a blender or food processor and pipette the puree decoratively on the plate.
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrate: 19 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Total Sugars: 14 g
Total Fat: 20 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Calcium: 95 mg
Sodium: 157 mg
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes about 1¼ cups, about 12 to 13 servings
Vanilla bean (or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract)
1½ tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1½ tablespoons Normandy apple cider vinegar (or other unfiltered apple cider vinegar)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon honey
1. Cut vanilla bean in half widthwise. Put one half in resealable bag with a teaspoon of sugar and store in the refrigerator.
2. Using a sharp paring knife, split the remaining half of the bean in half lengthwise. Starting as close to one end as possible, firmly penetrate the skin and run the knife all the way across. Scrape out all the soft inside (mainly seeds).
3. Place the interior pulp of the vanilla bean in a medium-sized bowl. Add the two vinegars.
4. Slowly add the two oils, whisking as you pour them into the bowl until the oil and vinegar aren’t separated.
5. Whisk in honey.
Note: If you’re not using it right away, place in a container with a lid and shake before using. Store any unused vinaigrette in a capped container in the refrigerator.
1 serving (1½ tablespoons)
Protein: 0 g
Carbohydrate: 2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Total Sugars: 2 g
Total Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calcium: 1 mg
Sodium: 1 mg