I really like the restaurant Urban Solace. And, as much as I like the food at Urban Solace, I really like chef/owner Matt Gordon. He is truly one of the nicest, friendliest and happiest guys I’ve ever met. And generous too. A real mensch. He gives back to the community, a lot. For the past three years, he has hosted a Passover Seder at the restaurant and donates a percentage of the proceeds to the domestic abuse program I work for. It’s a super fun evening. My brother-in-law Sam (The Cooking Guy) and Steve Silverman, a local restaurant critic, lead us through the traditional prayers and readings of the Seder. And then we feast on a Passover meal like no other.
Needless to say, I was really excited when I saw the recipe for Matt’s watermelon salad posted in the U-T a couple of weeks ago. Yet another great use of those cherry tomatoes in our backyard and the beautiful yellow watermelon I picked up at the farmer’s market!
(Matt says the salad ingredients serve two. It makes a ton of vinaigrette; I actually halved the ingredients and still had leftovers! You can store the leftover in a glass jar in the fridge.)
Urban Solace’s Watermelon/Tomato/Cucumber Salad
2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup arugula
1⁄8 cup feta cheese
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon plumped currants (oops, I forgot these!)
1 tablespoon each fresh basil and mint, cut into thin strips
This makes a large quantity that can be used for other salads.
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/8 cup honey
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (available at specialty markets or online OR Trader Joe’s carries a pomegranate syrup that you could use)
2 tablespoons ground coriander, toasted first (I left this out…sorry, Matt!)
2 tablespoons kosher salt Ewww…I just noticed that this says 2 tablespoons salt! I rechecked the newspaper article…that’s what it said. No way it’s right. I used 1 teaspoon!
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable oil (preferably a blend of canola and olive oil)
Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Place all ingredients except oil in a blender. Emulsify, adding oil slowly. Taste for seasoning. Toss with salad ingredients.