Grilled watermelon, Italian vinaigrette, toasted almonds, burrata

Adapted by StarChefs.com
May 2022

INGREDIENTS:

Watermelon Rings:
1 small seedless watermelon
Italian Vinaigrette:
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
20 basil leaves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Toasted Almonds:
1 cup sliced almonds
To Assemble and Serve:
Burrata
Basil leaves
Mint leaves
Crunchy salt

METHOD:

For the Watermelon Rings

With the watermelon laying in its natural position (like a football, not like an egg), cut the monster in half. Cut each half into four 1 ½-inch slices. Using a 3-inch ring mold or wine glass, cut out the center of the watermelon. Remove any seeds from both the full melon rings and the centers and reserve centers for Italian Vinaigrette. 

For the Italian Vinaigrette

In a pot over medium heat, combine oils and herbs. Simmer until you have a continuous stream of bubbles. Remove from heat and let steep to infuse for 1 hour. Transfer steeped oil to a blender and add reserved watermelon centers. Blend on high for 10 seconds. Strain through a chinois then return vinaigrette to the blender. Add the lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

For the Compressed Watermelon

Place Watermelon Rings in individual vacuum bags with 3 tablespoons Italian Vinaigrette. Compress on high for 15 seconds. Immediately chill the bags in an ice bath. Hold to compress at least 2 hours. Remove from bags and set aside. 

For the Toasted Almonds

Heat oven to 300ºF. Place almonds on a sheet pan. Toast almonds until nicely browned, about 15 minutes.

To Assemble and Serve

Grill Compressed Watermelon slices until charred, 1 minute. Place 1 grilled Compressed Watermelon slice on each serving plate and fill the open center with a heaping hunk of burrata. Garnish the Compressed Watermelon ring with herbs and Toasted Almonds. Drizzle with a little more Italian Vinaigrette and some crunchy sea salt to finish.