Salads, salads, and more salads! These days, with the summer heat beating down, lighter eats combining fresh greens with seasonal fresh fruits and veggies really hit the spot. Everything from tender green beans and crisp cucumber, to juicy watermelon and sweet pluots are on the table.
And one can’t forget about all of the fresh herbs, with fresh mint and basil a couple of my top picks right now.
The different flavor and texture combinations that can be worked into a salad are really limitless.
Lately, I’ve been focused on the merging of fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs into a well-balanced meal and incorporating locally made cheeses from Drake Family Farm.
This week I was inspired by an absolutely delectable French herb chèvre. The round balls of goat cheese are preserved in olive oil with a combination of six flavorful herbs, yielding a flavor infused experience with every bit.
I found the flavor paired quite well with watermelon and basil so prepared a simple single layer plated salad, with this French herb chèvre sitting front and center.
French Herb Chèvre and Watermelon Salad.
8-ounce jar French Herb Chèvre
2 cups watermelon, cut into cubes or slices
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into rounds
1/4 cup red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
7-8 large Italian Basil leaves, rolled and cut into ribbons
I like to plate this type of salad layered, similar to a caprese salad. Open the jar of goat cheese. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar, and toss with red onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
Then plate by alternating watermelon slices, rounds of the goat cheese balls and cucumber. The goat cheese pieces can be relatively small. Then evenly top with the red onion mixture followed by the basil.
Drizzle remaining oil and balsamic in the bowl as desired to taste. Season with fresh cracked pepper if desired.
Yield: Serves 2.