When you have a really good salad dressing on hand it allows for a little more time and effort into the rest of the salad. I’ve been experimenting with Girard Salad Dressings recently and found the perfect use for their Balsamic Dressing, as a marinade for watermelon! After marinating a wedge of watermelon for 10-15 minutes, it has a whole new depth of flavor, making this simple side salad a real treat.
Though I do often make my own dressings at home, I will confess that it is really nice to have a couple bottles of nice salad dressings in the fridge. Girard Salad Dressings are a new favorite of mine and their freshness is clear in their taste. The Girard Brand is hosting a contest for bloggers who use their dressings to make a video and then be entered to win a trip to the International Blogging Conference. For me, it was an excellent excuse to get a little creative in the kitchen!
For this easy gourmet salad, you need a small seedless watermelon, some arugula, Girard’s Barista Balsamic Dressing, goat cheese, basil, almonds, and thyme. While the watermelon marinates in the balsamic dressing, you can quickly whip up the rest of the salad, toasting the nuts, dressing the arugula and combining the goat cheese and basil. In less than 15 minutes you’ll have 4 stunning side salads! Here’s a quick video to demonstrate:
- 1/2 small seedless watermelon
- 1/4 cup Girard's Barista Balsamic Dressing, divided
- 1/2 cup marcona* almonds
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, , chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 4 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 5 basil leaves, chopped
- sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut your watermelon in half then cut one of the halves into quarters (leaving you with 4 wedges). Place watermelon wedges in a dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic dressing. Let soak while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Mix the marcona almonds with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme (chopped), and a few pinches of sea salt. Spread the almonds out on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast for about 7 minutes or until golden and fragrant.
Dress the arugula with the other 2 tablespoons of balsamic, using more dressing if needed if needed.
Combine the chopped basil with the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Stir well to combine.
To plate the salad, divide the 4 watermelon wedges onto 4 plates. Smear a tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture onto each plate. Top the goat cheese with arugula, then, sprinkle a few marcona almonds over the greens.
regular almonds may be used instead of marcona almonds.