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  • Watermelon & Grilled Manouri with Green Olive & Mint Salsa Verde

    Proof serious barbecuing isn't just for meat-eaters, this colourful veggie-friendly salad comes from co-owner and mastermind behind London grill house Berber & Q, Josh Katz. 

    The ex-Ottolenghi chef's latest venture is a new cookbook, filled with big, bold recipes to pair together and share - the perfect excuse to dust off the barbie and get grilling this summer. Here's his take on an unbeatable side dish... 

    "I especially like the way the sweet and crunchy watermelon balances with the crumbly, saltiness of the manouri cheese in this salad, whilst the sharpness of the salsa verde really ties the whole dish together. This is a great summer salad that is both light and fresh." - Josh Katz, Berber & Q Co-Founder

    Watermelon & Grilled Manouri with Green Olive & Mint Salsa Verde

    Serves 2 (as a small main or 4 as a side salad) 

    I N G R E D I E N T S 

    For the mint salsa verde: 
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1⁄2 shallot, finely chopped
    6–8 pitted green olives, finely chopped
    1 anchovy fillet, minced
    1 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    4 tbsp Herb Oil or olive oil
    2 tbsp finely shredded mint

    For the watermelon and grilled manouri: 
    150g manouri cheese, cut into 1cm thick wedges
    500g watermelon, cut into chunks
    Handful of picked mint leaves
    2 tbsp whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
    2 green chillies, thinly sliced
    2 tbsp Herb Oil or olive oil

    M E T H O D

    For the mint salsa verde: 

    Whisk the lemon juice and mustard together in a bowl, and add the shallot, olives, anchovy, capers and garlic.

    Whisk the oil into the sauce. I like to use herb oil for my salsa verde, as it gives the dressing a lovely vibrant green colour, but this recipe works just as well with normal olive oil.

    Set to one side until required. The salsa verde can be made several hours ahead of time, just be sure to only add the mint just before serving.

    For the watermelon and grilled manouri:

    I wouldn’t suggest firing up a barbecue just for the purposes of grilling some manouri cheese, but if you happen to have a fire going for other culinary purposes (or otherwise), then use it to grill your cheese. As with any ingredient cooked on an open fire, the manouri will only taste better for it. In the absence of a barbecue, heat a cast-iron ridged skillet pan on the stovetop over high heat until smoking hot, and griddle-score the manouri on both sides in a cross formation, as you might a piece of steak.

    Remove the manouri from the grill and transfer to a serving platter alongside the watermelon chunks. Drizzle the salsa verde over the top and garnish the salad with some picked mint leaves, the almonds, chillies and a final drizzle of herb oil for good measure. 

    Recipe from 'Berber & Q' by Josh Katz, out now.