watermelon wedge salad

watermelon wedge salad

The iceberg wedge salad is an old fashioned steakhouse staple, which always makes me think of wood paneled rooms, tufted leather booths, and smoke-filled air. While this particular image is admittedly more from a movie than reality, it certainly doesn’t rank very high on the whimsy scale. And right now (/pretty much every day) I’m in the mood for wooden picnic tables, sunny skies, and fresh air. So while this watermelon wedge salad was inspired by the steakhouse classic, it belongs at all your summer BBQs, picnics, and potlucks, and nowhere near anyplace stuffy.

I couldn’t resist putting my own spin on the usual flavors, subbing feta in place of blue cheese, and sprinkling some sumac on top (it’s the perfect thing to add a little extra brightness), but you could totally go traditional on this one and use your favorite roquefort while skipping the sumac. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can thin out full-fat plain yogurt with a little bit of whole milk (although the flavor and consistency will be a bit different than the real deal). But whatever you do, don’t skimp on the chives!

watermelon wedge salad
watermelon wedge salad

watermelon wedge salad

serves 5 generously
total time: 30 minutes
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  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into 5 1-inch-thick rounds (500g)

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (115g)

  • 1/4 cup mayo (60g)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1.5g)

  • 1 cup feta crumbles, divided in half (130 g total)

  • 1/3 cup chopped chives (15g)

  • 1/4 of a medium watermelon, cut into 5 1-inch-thick wedges (850g)

  • 2 diced Persian cucumbers (130g)

  • 2 diced roma tomatoes (130g)

  • 2-3 sliced radishes (30g)

  • 3/4 teaspoon sumac (2g)

  1. Place the iceberg rounds/wedges on a large serving platter or individual plates.

  2. Whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, lemon juice, salt, half of the feta, and half the chives. Use the whisk to break up the feta. Once it’s relatively smooth, pour about half over the iceberg pieces.

  3. Top each dressed iceberg piece with a watermelon wedge, and top each with more dressing. Sprinkle on cucumber, tomato, radishes, sumac, and the rest of the feta and chives. Serve immediately.

To make ahead: the components (including the dressing) will keep well stored separately in the refrigerator for a few days. If you’re short on space and containers, you can store the cucumbers and tomatoes together, with the radishes placed on top. Leftovers are still delicious, but it’s best dressed at the last minute (try to dress as much as you think you’ll eat right away).

watermelon wedge salad

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yellow curry powder

yellow curry powder

You’ll find yellow curry powder in a lot of Assyrian and Iraqi dishes, and it's become an important part of our cuisine in recent centuries. It's in everything from biryani to amba to masgouf, and it feels essential to the food that makes me think of home cooking. But it’s important to note that the whole idea of curry actually has a history of colonialism and a connection to our shared experience with the Indian subcontinent (check out articles by Sucharita Kanjilal, Naben Ruthnum, and Little Global Chefs for more information and context). And while it's not strictly an “authentic” Middle Eastern ingredient (nor an authentic Indian one), it's certainly become a part of Iraqi and Assyrian cuisines.

What is authenticity anyway? Things are always changing—some new things come from beautiful instances of cultural sharing, and some new things happen from violence and conquest, but in either case we’re left with whatever remains. When we take stock, maybe it’s just important that we remember and acknowledge our history and our circumstances, while working toward an equitable future.

This curry powder is primarily made up of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek, with some warm and spicy background notes. While this blend works really well raw, tempering it in some oil or dry roasting it in a pan for 1 minute will deepen its flavor. You can use this blend in a number of different dishes, a few of which are listed below the following recipe:

yellow curry powder

blend your own yellow curry powder

yield: about 3/4 cup
total time: 5 minutes
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2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground curry leaves (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom *
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground chili

  • Prep any whole spices by grinding them and then measuring them. Use a very clean coffee grinder, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle.

  • Combine all ingredients and store in a sealed glass container for 6 months to a year.

* If you're using whole pods, use green cardamom, rather than black, and discard the shells before grinding the seeds. If you're using ground spices, green cardamom is the same thing as a standard shaker of cardamom you'll find in the supermarket.

ways to use yellow curry powder

Also, just to note: I originally posted this recipe and these photos a couple years ago, but I wanted to update the post to give it a bit more historical context and information, as well as streamline the list of curry powder uses, so here it is in its updated form (with the same URL, so you won’t get a dead link if you have the old post pinned or bookmarked). Hope you enjoy!

yellow curry powder