Today I did a scary thing, something that I’ve been dreading to do for quite awhile now. I told all of my freelance clients that I was no longer taking on design projects so I could focus more attention on my passion – cooking in the field of nutrition. It wasn’t easy but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Between my full-time job, school, freelance work, the house, gardening, cooking and trying to maintain this blog I have been spreading myself thin. So thin in fact that I’ve been neglecting the things that give me the most joy in my life – like cooking for example.
In an act to reclaim my sanity and my kitchen I raced to Chino Farms just as they were closing up shop and like an addict desperate for a fix I begged them to stay open long enough to grab a handful of veggies. They must have seen the crazy in my eyes because they let me leave with a full bag of corn, poblano peppers, little heads of colorful tender lettuce, and a big heavy delicious smelling watermelon. With a smile on my face I drove home with the windows down and Other Lives threatening to blow my eardrums out.
The first thing I did when I got home was cut into the watermelon. It was yellow – like the color of a lemon – yellow. Not at all what I was expecting but an exciting surprise. The flavor was sweet, delicious and not at all weird. I was thrilled so I set to work making a salad to celebrate summer.
Using watermelon in a salad isn’t a new concept but it’s one that I often forget about – until that moment. I wanted something cool and crisp to balance the spice and warmth from the corn and poblano chowder I was also making. The sweet watermelon, combined with a handful of blueberries, a cucumber from my garden, a sprinkling of goat cheese and the tender greens I picked up at Chinos were the perfect combination.
I coated the salad with a dressing made from chopped garlic, shallots, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It. Was. Freaking. Delicious. The flavors were bright, cooling and the creaminess from the goat cheese tied it all together. It was the perfect salad for a summer evening.
I recommend eating this with friends. Food is always better when shared.
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 4, Prep Time: 15 minutes
2 Small heads of lettuce or one bag of pre-washed greens
Half pint of organic blueberries
1 ½ Cups of cubed watermelon
Half of a cucumber sliced
¼ cup of goat cheese
Garlic Shallot Dressing
1 Shallot sliced
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the garlic and shallots into the vinegar and let sit while you put the salad together. When you are ready to serve, whisk the oil into the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.