Danielle, from Against All Grain, posted this Watermelon Salad a few weeks ago and it sparked something inside of me. All of a sudden I was determined to eat the most watermelon I possible could. I wanted to use this summery fruit in new and creative ways. I started with smoothies, but wanted a salad similar to Danielle's but with a Vermont twist – the Vermont part being the delicious peppered goat cheese. So I made my own version of her salad, and boy was I glad I did.
In the past, I've always been one to buy watermelon when it's in-season. I mean, how can you not? It's so gorgeous – with the bright, juicy red center and festive green rind. It screams summer.
But I always eat my watermelon the same boring way. Cut into triangles with the rind on, or cut into chunks. Always out of tupperware. Always.
It was time to spice it up. Time to celebrate this glorious red gem for all its greatness.
I think my love for watermelon stems from our long, sunny beach days in Kennebunkport. This fruit was a staple in our lunch cooler, always perfectly refreshing when you're soaking up the sun, sitting under the hot sun all day.
It's like a wisp of air conditioning that flows through your mouth, immediately cooling your whole body down. Nothing better on a hot beach day.
But as we've gotten older, those days are becoming farther and farther in between. We're lucky if we get one weekend where we're all up there as a family. Those beach days of my childhood, where the days seemed to last forever and summers felt like it would never end, are harder to come by.
So this summer I made a pact with myself. I will take the watermelon from those joyous summer days and bring it to life in Burlington. My goal is to push myself outside of my tupperware boundaries and embrace this summery staple and all it's amazingness.
This salad is out of this world. Inspired by Against All Grain, it's sweet, fresh and bursts with summer deliciousness. The watermelon is a perfectly sweet contrast to the tangy goat cheese. And with the spiced nuts, it's like a bite of fresh summer air topped with a warm candied treat.
Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Spiced Nuts
- First prepare the candied nuts by heating the oil in a small saute pan.
- Add the honey and heat for 30 seconds.
- Add the walnuts and spices to the pan and saute until caramelized and golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Set the nuts aside and let them cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a large bowl, add the greens and top with watermelon.
- Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and candied walnuts.
- Serve with balsamic vinegar and a dash of olive oil.