Whatcha Got Cookin’ is a weekly Rock-n-Roll recipe for you to try out yourself. It’s made possible by the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Maryland’s Best Seafood and Agriculture Programs.

Today we take an amateur chef’s recipe, you can submit your own recipe to sgallant@wtmd.org

Today we make Maya Gallant’s Summer Watermelon Salad. Maya is Sam Gallant’s daughter and she makes this salad and variations of it every summer, and with good reason, it’s an easy and delicious side dish for any meal.

Maya’s Summer Watermelon Salad:

Take a medium-sized local watermelon and cut the whole thing up into small bite size pieces.

Pick some mint from your garden, about a cup worth will do. Chop the mint into strips.

Procure some feta cheese, my favorite local options are Firefly Farms from Garret County, or Cherry Glen Goat cheese from Boyds Maryland. You need about two cups, but I like cheese.

Make a balsamic reduction or glaze. This is the hardest part, and no one will blame you if you get a balsamic syrup as a short cut, especially in the hot summer months, who wants to be at the stove these days? But if you want to make it yourself you need to put two cups of balsamic in a pot on the stove and cook it down, constantly stirring for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s going to cook down to about a cup of glaze. And it will thicken as it cools. And make sure you let it cool before you mix it all together, you don’t want to melt that feta.

Take all those ingredients and mix them in a big bowl. Serve over a bed of arugula or mixed greens for some added spice and fresh flavor. Enjoy!

Sam’s Pairing Suggestion:

Checkerspot Brewing Company’s Saison De Fleur: 5.4% ABV

A Belgian farmhouse Saison style beer brewed with sumac which gives it a hint of earthy lemon. It is very drinkable and will pair perfectly with the sweet melon, spicy arugula, and rich feta cheese flavors of Maya’s Summer Salad.