This recipe is designed with a hot summer’s day in mind – layer up this beautiful salad as a perfect lunch or light dinner. The sweetness of the AVA strawberries go perfectly with the sharpness of the balsamic dressing and the salty hit from the light goat’s cheese. You can present this in a different way, on a large platter of you prefer, but the layered look adds a bit of extra fun.
For the salad:
- 1 bag of rocket
- 1 small bag of spinach
- 1 punnet of AVA strawberries
- ¼ of a watermelon
- A handful of basil leaves and some small ones to garnish
- 1 cucumber
For the dressing:
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp of honey
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsps sunflower seeds or pistachio nuts (optional)
For the whipped Goat’s Cheese Topping:
- 2 X 125g packs of light goat’s cheese
- 2 tbsps of crème fraiche (or enough to loosen the cheese when whipping)
- Black pepper
- Chop the strawberries into halves or quarters (or a combination of both) and place in a bowl with a splash of balsamic vinegar and some ripped up basil leaves. Leave in the fridge to marinade for 30 minutes.
- Chop the watermelon and cucumber into bitesize chunks
- Create the whipped goat’s cheese by placing the goat’s cheese, crème fraiche and black pepper in a bowl and whisking until is light in consistency and could be piped onto the salad.
- Create the balsamic dressing by adding all of the ingredients and whisking to form an emulsion.
Take a glass bowl or small trifle dish (or you can do individual versions in tall, wide glasses). Start by dressing the rocket leaves in half of the balsamic dressing. Place as the bottom layer of your salad (this should come about 1/3 of the way up the dish. Now add a layer of watermelon – make sure your layer goes right to the edge of the dish so that each layer is distinct. Next add the cucumber. Now add a layer of the spinach leaves and a little more of the dressing. Finally add a layer of the balsamic strawberries. To decorate the top, pipe the whipped goat’s cheese in small amounts nestled between the strawberries. Finish by adding the small basil leaves, some sunflower seeds or nuts and a little balsamic glaze.
Note: If you do not own balsamic glaze, just take some balsamic vinegar and put it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and allow it to cool. You will have a thick, balsamic glaze.