Seared Watermelon Steak

Seared Watermelon Steak

Watermelon steak is a visual and flavor treat. Surprisingly, it works, really well. When put on a very hot pan, the natural sugars in the watermelon caramelize and give it sear; the watermelon keeps it sweetness, with a grilled taste.

The seared snap peas make it more filling. I kept mine dairy-free, but I suspect sprinkling with salty feta cheese (adjusting the salt) or crushed burrata would be a fantastic addition, and a dash of pesto. I added lemon juice and lemon zest for vibrancy, and chopped pitted olives for a briny taste. I suspect sundried tomatoes, cut into slivers, would work well. Had I had pistachios at hand I would've sprinkled those on top.

A large slab makes for a great first course, though this could be served smaller as an appetizer, chopped into smaller squares.

Seared Watermelon Steak, close-up

Ingredients:

2 seedless watermelon cut into 1" inch slabs, about the length of two deck of cards (~3" x 5" inches)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup sugar snap peas

8 pitted black olives, chopped into rounds

1 lemon, juice and zest (can sub 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar)

edible flowers and petals

small pinch of maldon salt, or sea salt

optional toppings: finely chopped fresh herbs (oregano, dill, mint, cilantro), crushed pistachios, fresh chiles (serrano, aleppo), sliced granny smith apples, thinly sliced cured red onion

Heat olive oil in a pan over high heat until oil is smoking. Place watermelon slabs (prettiest side down first) onto oil. Be careful - it is likely the oil will splatter.

Place a grill-press on top, and cook for about 3 minutes untouched. Alternately, you can press down on watermelon with a spatula. The total time will depend on the size of your slab - you want the bottom browned and a lightly charred. When done, flip and repeat on the other side. Remove watermelon and place in the middle of a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add the sugar snap peas to pan. Cook until charred on the bottom, then cook for a few minutes until browned all over. Remove from heat.

Arrange snap peas and olives around watermelon. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Lightly crush a pinch of maldon flakes, and garnish with lemon zest and any optional toppings. Arrange edible flowers and petals on top, serve immediately.

Serves 2

a bite of seared watermelon

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