This watermelon feta salad is served with crunchy cornmeal fried bay scallops and topped with a balsamic drizzle.
I ate some seriously good food last weekend in Martha’s Vineyard. From a locally foraged 5 course meal to raw chocolate fudge to fresh roasted coffee to a New England clam chowder with more clams than probably the last 10 New England clam chowders I’ve eaten combined to a watermelon arugula and feta salad at The Atlantic, each one of those experiences being accompanied with copious amounts of delicious wine.
I plan on recreating a bunch of the small courses I got to eat last weekend and this salad is just that. Actually, it’s a combination of three different meals, the arugula watermelon feta salad, cornmeal fried oysters and scallop ceviche that I happily ate. If there was a way to fry fresh oysters without actually having to shuck all those oyster shells, I would’ve used them but the second I saw these wild bay scallops for a reasonable price at the store, that went out the window and laziness set in.
Three out of the four days I was on the island the weather was pretty much disgusting, cold, damp and cloudy. The last day, the sun came out and the second I opened my sliding door onto the fourth floor balcony overlooking the water from my hotel room, I totally “got” why people fall in love with the island. It made me want to wander in and out of all the cute Edgartown shops, walk along the water and find a restaurant with outside seating where I could eat some fried seafood and a nice big salad.
We accomplished one of those things before needing to catch our ferry home and I ended up with some high end designer sweater that was 85% off (it pays to go outside of peak season). And, while my suburban waterfront-less house in New York isn’t quite the atmosphere I was hoping to enjoy this meal in, I got the fried seafood and salad a couple days later.
- 1 pound wild bay scallops
- 1/4 pound feta, cut into cubes
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- salt & pepper
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- oil for frying
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- lemon wedges for serving
- Toss the arugula with the lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl, set aside.
- Rinse and dry the scallops.
- Combine the cornmeal, tapioca flour, dill and a generous amount of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in another small bowl.
- Add about 3 tablespoons of frying oil (I used extra virgin since we're pan frying, but use whatever oil you like) to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
- Drop a handful of the scallops in the egg mixture, transfer to the cornmeal mixture using a slotted spoon to drain the excess egg. Toss in the cornmeal until fully coated. Place the scallops in the skillet and pan fry on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining scallops. You will need to add oil as you go.
- To plate, arrange the watermelon, dressed arugula, sliced radishes (if using), feta and scallops on a platter.
- Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then lower until thickened into a glaze. Drizzle over the plated salad and serve with lemon wedges.