Watermelon With Feta Salad, We Are So Over You Now

It's probably a few months too soon to name the most clichéd dish of 2010, but I'm early voting for watermelon with feta salad.

The colorful salad showed up at restaurants across town this summer, gracing the salad page on menus at Pyramid, Dallas Chop House and The Mansion, where executive chef Bruno Davaillon is so proud of his preparation he demonstrated it in a City of Ate feature and again today at the State Fair of Texas.

"It is very simple," Davaillon told the crowd.

So simple -- and so intrinsically delicious -- that the combo may be going the way of beets and goat cheese, which Bon Appetit recently named one of five "most played-out restaurant dishes."

Greek cooks have apparently been crumbling salty feta on sweet watermelon for years, but the recipe was a relative rarity in the United States until this year. When Parigi's Jose Matu last year shared his watermelon feta salad with City of Ate, the dish was described as "fresh and surprising."

But adjectives age so quickly: The salad made its first national splash last summer on The Next Food Network Star, in which an onion-packed version of the dish ended a contestant's run, and has since been featured on dozens of blogs, including Salon.com, which called the salad "a favorite you'll never get enough of."

We'll see about that.

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