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Grilled Watermelon Feta and Jalapeno Salad

Posted: Friday, May. 24, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Looking for a side dish that is just a bit different for your next get together or cookout? Give this light and refreshing grilled watermelon salad a try.

Grilling the already juicy watermelon gives it a slight smokey taste and brings out even more juiciness. The natural sugars in the watermelon begin to caramelize and turns this sweet treat into something like you have never had.

Cube and combine the watermelon with a light citrus vinaigrette for a touch of acidy. Adding jalapeno brings in some spice and crumbled feta a touch of saltiness that makes this salad perfectly balanced.

Enjoy with grilled chicken, fish or even a nice charred burger, enjoy!

Grilled Watermelon Feta and Jalapeno Salad

• 3 Cups-Seedless Watermelon
• 8 Ounce Block-Feta Cheese-cut into planks
• 1 Each-Jalapeno Pepper-stem removed, halved, seeded and fine diced
• 1 Each-Green Onion-sliced thin, green/white parts separate
• 1 Tablespoon-Fresh Parsley-leaves only chopped fine
• 2 Tablespoons-Honey
• ¼ Cup-Orange Juice
• 2 Tablespoons-Lime Juice
• 2 Tablespoons-Olive Oil
• To Taste-Kosher Salt

Directions

1. Preheat grill for direct heat grilling to medium high heat.
2. Whisk together honey, orange/lime juice.
3. Add olive oil and whisk to combine, set aside.
4. Square off watermelon by cutting off the rind on all side, trim remaining rind.
5. Cut watermelon into thick planks and brush lightly with olive oil.
6. Brush feta planks with oil also.
7. Place watermelon on grill over direct heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
8. Remove and place feta on grill, cooking only 30 seconds on each side.
9. Remove and set aside to cool.
10. Cut watermelon into bite size cubes and crumble feta.
11. Place both in a mixing bowl with jalapeno, parsley and white part of onion.
12. Toss to combine and add enough dressing to lightly coat salad.
13. Toss again, add more dressing to taste and serve.

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