I thought I would celebrate the opening of my new blog with one of my favorite end of summer recipes.  I hope you’ll try it and let me know how it turns out!

Serves 6

This brings together 4 of the “basic flavors”: sweet, sour, salty and pepper.  As with all recipes, adjust these elements to your own taste.

1 medium sweet red or white onion, peeled, cut in 1/2″ thick slices
6 large ripe fresh figs, halved
Olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups young watercress or other peppery greens such as arugula, woody stems discarded
Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)
6 cups chilled seeded watermelon, cut into 2 inch cubes or triangles (use both red and
yellow watermelon, if available)
6 ounces or so drained feta, preferably Bulgarian or California
Garnish: Mint springs

Brush the onions and figs with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Grill over a medium heat until nicely marked and softened.  Set aside (can be done an hour or two ahead).

Arrange a bed of watercress and top with the watermelon.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over and arrange onions and figs attractively around.  Place feta on top and garnish with mint sprigs.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots or green onions
1/4 cup raspberry or other fruit vinegar
1/4 cup raspberry puree made from either fresh or IQF frozen berries, strained to
remove seeds
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons honey (or to taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk the shallots, vinegar, raspberry puree, orange juice, honey and oil together to make a smooth mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.