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Cristina Ferrare Shares Model Recipes for Healthy, Fresh Meals

Learn how to make watermelon salad, grilled lamb chops, strawberry shortcake and more

Watermelon Salad

Reprinted with permission from Cristina Ferrare

Serves 4

  • 1 16-ounce bottle balsamic vinegar
  • 1 5- to 6-pound seedless watermelon
  • Greek feta cheese, cut into 12 pieces, each 1/2-inch thick and 1-1/4-inch wide
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup microgreens (optional)

1. To make the balsamic syrup, pour the whole bottle of vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to boil until the vinegar starts to thicken and forms a syruplike consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to let it thicken too much, or it will end up a thick, black goop. The best way to check is to use a wooden spoon: If the syrup coats the back of the spoon, it's ready to remove from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature before you store it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

2. Slice the watermelon into 2-inch-thick round slices. Take your best 4 round slices and cut a 3-by-3-inch rectangle from the middle of each. Wrap all 4 pieces in plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Reserve the rest of the melon for another use.

3. To assemble the salad, place one 3-by-3-inch piece of watermelon on a plate and slice it into 1-inch pieces. You should have 9 squares.

4. Add 3 pieces of the feta cheese over the watermelon squares, then 4 to 5 slices of red onion. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, add 5 to 6 fresh mint leaves and scatter a handful of microgreens over the top. Drizzle balsamic syrup over all.

5. Repeat with the remaining three servings and serve immediately.

Nutrients per serving: 195 calories, 11g protein, 25g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 9g fat (6g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium, 210mg potassium.

Next page: Grilled lamb chops with roasted potatoes and Kokkari dressing. »

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