Watermelon and Queso Fresco with Choco Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

I don’t know how this recipe creeped into my head.  I think I was reading about the typical feta/watermelon combos that appear every Summer, and simultaneously studying a tamal book.  The sauces, cheese, and watermelon soon coalesced into one unstoppable urge to cook.  The sauce is spicy, the cheese is mild and sweet, and the watermelon is refreshing.

Watermelon, Queso Fresco, Chipotle Salsa

Watermelon, Queso Fresco, Chipotle Salsa

How you present this dish will depend on the type of queso fresco you buy, as well as the size of the watermelon.  You can slice half moons of each the cheese and watermelon, and pair them together to form a circle.  Another alternative is to slice the watermelon in wedges, and place on top of a full circle of cheese (pictured).  If you get a local queso fresco, which tend to be smaller in size than the commercial brands, you can slice it in smaller rounds and place a few around the watermelon wedge.  The idea is to make the dish beautiful and colorful.

You will need:
Choco-Chipotle Salsa (below)
1 watermelon ( you will use very little)
1 12-ounce package queso fresco
Toasted pepitas

Slice the end off the watermelon.  Carefully slice a second round off the end in a perfect circle.  Cut the round into 8 wedges.
Slice the cheese horizontally into 4 large circles.
Pour the sauce in the bottom of 4 dishes and smooth it out across the whole plate.  Place the cheese on top of the salsa, then place a wedge of watermelon on top of the cheese.  Garnish with the pepitas, and serve with an extra plate of watermelon.

Makes 4 appetizers.

For Choco-Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa:
Olive oil
½ cup white onion, medium dice
10-12 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and roughly chopped
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 chipotle in adobo + 1 teaspoon brine
3 pieces Mexican drinking chocolate bars
1 small handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat up 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent and lightly browned.  Add the tomatillos, along with a large pinch of salt, and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the tomatillos are soft and cooked through.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Blend the onion and tomatillo with the remaining ingredients until completely combined.
Pour back into the sauté pan to keep warm.


One comment

  1. Don Cuevas · July 18, 2009

    Choco-Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa: no way, gracias!

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