‘Seriously, what were you thinking?’

What my partner didn’t know was that before he got around to asking me the question, I’d been asking myself the same thing all day long.

Our friends, Desiree and Perryn, are purveyors of tasty morsels and delicious beverages in the Greenwood area. Their establishment, Teachers Lounge, is more than a place to grab a yummy bite and a beverage. It often feels like a salon. Incredibly well-read, some of the best books I’ve read over the last couple years were their recommendations. Always in the know, they can recommend a great place to dine out based on your palate and price point. And music… they play a fabulously eclectic array of noise up in their joint. The conversation is lively and laughter is abundant. We consider their place an extension of our living room.

After all of the hospitality they’ve shown us since they’ve opened, we finally got around to inviting them over for dinner. And by ‘we’, I mean me. And this is why I was in a state of panic: I had offered to feed the two best cooks I know. Was I a complete idiot?

At that moment, the answer was yes.

The plan was to grill bison steaks, roast some potatoes, and put together a salad from our garden. I have a favorite go-to dressing I intended to shake up. While pretty tasty, it lacks a ‘wow’ factor.

Desiree and Perryn walked in with a huge bag of, well, everything you’d want to eat or drink. As Perryn began to empty his seemingly bottomless grocery bag, I (very discreetly, I believe) swept my colander of romaine and butter lettuce into the fridge. Greens and fruit and cheese and an array of liquid concoctions began to fill up the counter. My eyes lit up when I saw the arugula in all its curly glory, the juicy watermelon, the balsamic syrup and tangy feta. This salad was not messing around. It was all wow.

It turned out that I needn’t have worried. The steaks were done to near perfection. The potatoes were perfectly roasted (thanks, Ina Garten, for this recipe). And their scrumptious salad? It turned a really nice dinner into a superb meal.

This mouth-watering gem of a salad hasn’t appeared on their menu to my knowledge, but you should put it on yours. With their permission, here’s my recreation of their Watermelon-Arugula-Feta Salad.

Watermelon-Arugula-Feta Salad*
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Arugula (I used a whole container)
Watermelon (in bite sized pieces, I got a small seedless watermelon and had some left over)
Crumbled or Cubed Feta Cheese
Balsamic Syrup
Olive Oil
Black Pepper (lots of it)

I don’t know if you can mess this one up, as long as you put enough balsamic syrup in, and toss the arugula with a small amount of olive oil before adding the Balsamic syrup. Add watermelon and feta to your liking. And the black pepper? When you think you’ve put enough in, add a little more.

*“We aren’t as creative with our food names as we are with drink names” ~ Desiree

Alicia Diefenbach

My name is Alicia Diefenbach and I’m a Community Relations Specialist at Verity Credit Union.  I absolutely love my role at Verity!  I have the opportunity to explore the communities in which we’re located, reach out to organizations and individuals making these places dynamic, inviting places to live, and get involved with activities that support their well-being.

In my spare time I dote on my vegetable garden.  It still never ceases to amaze me that I can create my dinner out of dirt, some seeds, and cooperative weather.   I love my dog, Frank.  Also, I go to rock shows.  A whole lotta rock shows.

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