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¼ cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) from Asian markets
2 Tablespoons organic honey
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup ginger ale
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
4 large organic tomatoes, sliced into wedges
3 cups red watermelon balls (use a melon ball shaper to form balls, from large supermarkets)
1 large cucumber, peeled, sliced
½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled, for sprinkling on salad
¼ cup fresh parsley, sliced for garnish (optional)
Make the dressing ahead: combine in a non-reactive, small bowl the mirin, honey, sugar, ginger ale, sea salt and black pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve with salad.
In a glass bowl, combine the watermelon balls, the tomato and cucumber slices. Toss lightly.
Sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Keep salad chilled till ready to serve.
Pour the mirin dressing at the table side just before dinner starts.
Cook's comments: Look for mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) that is naturally brewed, with natural sugars. Store bottled mirin in the refrigerator after opening. This keeps for about a year chilled.
Substitutes: if feta cheese is not available, try goat's cheese. Or for a less salty substitute, try using cottage cheese.
Ingredients: the ingredient I used for the dressing - Japanese mirin (a sweet rice wine) can be found in Asian markets or online sources like Amazon.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.
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