Foodie Feast: Unforgettable Summer Wedding Menu + Watermelon Salad Recipe

Delight your guests with a noteworthy reception menu that highlights the best of the summer season.

Sponsored by InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills

The center of any memorable reception (besides the couple!) is undoubtly the food. Friends and family gather around the table to toast the "I dos" and enjoy a celebratory feast, which is why the menu is an incredibly important contributor to the atmosphere of a wedding. You can never go wrong by focusing on fresh, seasonal cuisine - especially during the warm summer months when flavor is at its peak and you're likely dining alfresco.

Chef Jonathan Wood and the culinary team at InterContinental Los Angeles are sharing a traditional summer menu with a sophisticated twist to help set you in the right direction. Not only are they providing a mouth-watering menu, but they've put together a stunning summer story to inspire both your eyes and taste buds. The dream team of vendors pulled out all the stops with wedding planner Nicole Alexandra Designs setting the table with vibrant linens from Luxe Linen, breathtaking flowers from Lilla Bello and delightful place settings from Dish Wish. It all was beautifully captured by Jenny Quicksall Photography.

Start with a refreshing ahi tuna poke to cool down in the summer sun or salivate over petite smoked salmon.

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Continue to your salad selection with California-fresh produce that enhances the natural sweet and tart tastes of our signature lime marinated watermelon salad (recipe below!).

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Beef up your meal with an entrée reminiscent of your favorite end of summer BBQ, the 10oz Prime NY Strip.

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End your meal on a high note with our light and cooling Yuzu Strawberry Mouse, sure to be followed by a smile.

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Find the full menu details here.


LIME MARINATED COMPRESSED WATERMELON SALAD

(Recipe is for 1 watermelon which yields about 8 salads)

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For Lime Marinated Compressed Watermelon:

1 watermelon cleaned and cut into 2” x 2” x 6” blocks

1 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 VAKPAK machine with 2 large vakpak bags OR 3- 1 gallon freezer ziplock bags

2 large baking sheet pans

Large heavy cans or books for weights

For Balsamic Reduction:

6 cups high quality dark balsamic vinegar

For Candied Pecans:

1 lbs. pecan halves

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup hot water

1 lbs. powdered sugar

For Salad:

1 lbs. micro upland watercress

½ lbs. crumbled feta cheese

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Preparation:

For Lime Marinated Compressed Watermelon:

Take whole watermelon and cut both ends off. Then peel the watermelon and slice into 2” slices length wise.

Then slice those slices into 2” by 2” blocks. Then trim to 6” in length. Each block should Be 2” by 2” by 6”.

Combine lime juice, salt, ground black pepper.

If you have a VakPak machine, combine watermelon blocks and marinade in VakPak bag and vacuum seal the bag.

If you don’t have a VakPak machine, you can just marinade the watermelon in the marinade or you can use this method: Place watermelon blocks into 1 gallon ziplock freezer bags with the marinade. Close the bag almost all the way and press out as much air and excess marinade as possible.

Lay the bags with the watermelon blocks so they lay flat on a baking sheet pan with the bag still slightly open in one corner. Than place the other baking sheet pan on top of the bags with watermelon. Place a few heavy cans or books on top of the sheet pan to compress the watermelon. After about 30 minutes, completely seal the ziplock bags before removing the weights. This will help to pull the marinade into the watermelon and give it a great bright red color. Refrigerate the watermelon overnight.

For the Balsamic Reduction:

Pour the dark balsamic vinegar into a large sauce pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to just a simmer and allow to reduce until syrupy and will stick to a spoon.

Remove from heat and cool.

For Candied Pecans:

Combine honey, brown sugar, white sugar, and hot water in pot and bring to a boil and remove from heat. Toss pecans in sugar mixture. Toss in powdered sugar and place evenly on a baking sheet pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Remove from oven and stir. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, break up any large chunks of pecans and place in an air tight container.

To Plate the Salad:

Remove the watermelon blocks from the bags and drain on a towel. Place watermelon block in the center of the plate. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the watermelon. Chop the pecans and sprinkle over the watermelon block. Place the micro upland watercress on top of the watermelon block. Sprinkle with crumbled feta and enjoy!

Led by Executive Chef Jonathan Wood, the culinary team offers hotel guests and Los Angeles locals a fresh new option in the vibrant center of Century City. Banquet Chef Brandon Meadows and his talented team continue to delight guests with a thoughtful and sophisticated menu of globally inspired dishes.

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Credits: 
Photography
Menu/Recipe
Planner
Florist
Linens
China, Flatware, Stemware