Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cucumber salad #2.

Cucumber and cantaloupe salad with hazelnuts and chevre. © Ryan Schierling
Fresh, earthy, crunchy, creamy. This one is our twist on cucumber-cantaloupe salad.

Don't call it a fruit salad because it will surely disappoint anyone expecting to satisfy a spirited sweet tooth. It gets a good grounding from the rich chèvre, the flavorful crunch of toasted filberts and the provocative hint of rosemary.

This one is easy to prep, but unfortunately it doesn't do well all mixed together in a serving bowl. Those lovely little bits of goat cheese just dissolve away into a creamy mess. Individual portions are prettier. No stirring, just a simple presentation of cucumber and melon with an unexpectedly serious garnish.

Cucumber salad with cantaloupe and chèvre

1 English cucumber, peeled
1/4 cantaloupe
1/4 cup white wine (such as pinot grigio), or the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup filbert (hazelnuts) pieces, lightly toasted
2 ounces chèvre
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Slice and the cucumber and cantaloupe into approximately 1/2" pieces. Gently fold the white wine and/or lemon juice with all the diced cucumber and cantaloupe in a bowl, then let it chill in the fridge for a bit.

When you're ready to serve, stir again lightly with a pinch of salt, then portion it out into smaller serving bowls. Give each a dusting of finely minced rosemary, then top with pieces of chèvre and hazelnuts. If you're feeling it, add a crack of black pepper, too.

Serves 3-4.

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