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Watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette

watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
Some flavors just shouldn’t go together. Chocolate and olives, strawberries and tomatoes, oysters and kiwi — but they do. I mean not that this dish is exactly salmon and licorice (I don’t know about that one…) but it is pretty weird.

So weird that after tasting a similar dish in Raleigh last summer, Mark and I couldn’t stop thinking about the combination.

Sure, watermelon makes sense… it’s summer, they’re everywhere and they’re insane. Give me an excuse to eat a watermelon and I’ll snack all day. Plus avocado? Sure — two vaguely tropical warm weather fruits. Bring ’em on.

But bacon on warm weather fruit? Peaches, maybe… avocado, ya… but watermelon?

I mean I know it goes on everything… but that even sounds weird to me. And goat cheese and basil are great together… but what do they have to do with all of that other stuff in the mix?

So when this dish came to the table on a particularly gorgeous, warm summer night, I wanted nothing more than to find out.

One bite and we both knew we had to go home and try to recreate the crazy goodness that was this delicious weirdo of a salad.

Of course, this particular meal was combined with such good people and such good fun that it’s hard to come anywhere close to the whole of that amazing experience… but these flavors sure do remind me why I can’t wait to go back.

watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threadswatermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threadswatermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
Watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette
Inspired by Poole’s Downtown Diner in Raleigh, NC

3 strips bacon, chopped in 1″ pieces and cooked
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 avocado
1/2 lime
Watermelon, sliced with shell removed
Fresh basil
2 tablespoons cup goat cheese

Fry bacon, then set both bacon and bacon drippings aside separately. Combine drippings with olive oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Chill vinaigrette.

Slice avocado and douse in lime juice. Slice watermelon, then arrange with avocado slices, basil, goat cheese, and bacon pieces. Drizzle with just a small amount of vinaigrette – a little goes a long way.

Instructions above are for one, but the recipe makes enough vinaigrette for multiple salads.

watermelon salad with goat cheese, basil, and bacon vinaigrette // a thousand threads

6 Comments


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