Capital Chefs: Jaime Montes de Oca of Zentan (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Watermelon and feta salad at Zentan 3’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Some might say there’s nothing better than biting into a sweet, juicy wedge of watermelon in the summertime. So to take that watermelon to the next level, you’ll find chef Jaime Montes de Oca’s recipe for a watermelon salad with mint, feta and a black pepper vinaigrette after the jump. It’s incredibly easy to make, and the soy sauce and black pepper with the sweetness of the watermelon and saltiness of the feta make for a great and refreshing combination. You can make it an hour or so in advance, although this is not a salad that needs time to marinate. Enjoy it on a picnic or underneath the breeze of a fan on a hot summer’s day.

Photo courtesy of
‘Watermelon at Zentan’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Jaime Montes de Oca’s Watermelon Salad with Feta, Mint and Black Pepper Vinaigrette

16 oz large diced seedless watermelon
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
8 leaves of mint, torn

Black pepper vinaigrette
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) soy sauce
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced jicama

1. Combine ingredients for the vinaigrette, whisk together and set aside.
2. Mix together watermelon, mint, and vinaigrette. Arrange on 4 plates and top with crumbled feta cheese.

Photo courtesy of
‘Fresh mint at Zentan’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

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