Sunday, July 22, 2012

Watermelon, Avocado Salad with Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

Nine weeks into being a used home owner.  Eight weeks into being a new dad.  Life is moving at warp speed right now.  It seems like we just moved into this house last week, and brought our daughter home from the hospital two days ago in that state of cloud nine happiness, pure unfiltered joy, and an equal mix of confusion and fear about being a parent.  They say that first walk to the car with the new one is surreal, and I'm here to tell ya, they're right.  I got used to the car seat and base being in the backseat for weeks, no big deal...but now there's a kid in there!  I still think it's crazy shit, but it's awesome crazy shit.  I can now laugh about getting pooped on, and so can she.  At least she didn't ruin the shirt. 

Both home ownership and child rearing have presented their challenges, but nothing that we can't handle with love, hard work, lots of patience, and at times lack of sleep.  It's unreal how big she has become in only two months, and also amazing how far we've come in making this house our home.  A work in progress for years to come, house and child.  Some highlights so far are her stretching after waking up, which goes on for like 10 minutes and is so far to me the best thing on the planet.  And having a piece of land, somewhere to put my hands in the earth, treat it kindly and let it provide nice things like flowers and vegetables.  I even like mowing the lawn, there's a pair of old sneakers (gym shoes to some) reserved for the task.  Can't mow in flip-flops, you know.  Hell, can't technically wear's sort of an outside joke, which is the opposite of an inside joke.  Much thanks to the fam for donating the lawn mower, next item I need to acquire is a gas powered trimmer, cause cutting edges by hand with clippers is a pain in the ass.  Especially when it's been so alarmingly hot this summer.  My neighbors probably think I am crazy to trim with what is essentially a giant pair of scissors, or maybe they believe I just have OCD.  Personally, I reference it as OC-ness, I wouldn't necessarily call it a disorder at this point.  Why not just go buy a 'weed wacker'? I can easily drop money for quality food, good wine, or a new hockey twig, those are undoubtedly needs.  For now I'm okay with the old-fashioned way, I'll save those dollars for diapers.

Wait.  What? For really I haven't posted this recipe yet??  It's become such a fan favorite, it's almost revered as much as this dish, which is quintessential summer-in-a-bowl.  If you buy some champagne vinegar to make this recipe, which is totally necessary, you might think what in the hell am I gonna do with the rest of it?  This other yummy and summery salad is the hell what.  

Here is a slightly different take on the typical watermelon salad- it looks so gosh dang good I had to include two pictures, and I think I took about twelve.  Not only does it appear fantastic, the juicy watermelon is brought to new culinary heights with avocado, goat cheese, basil, and a sweet vidalia onion vinaigrette. 

Watermelon, Avocado Salad with Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
two servings

1.5 TB minced vidalia onion
1.5 TB champagne vinegar
1.5 ts honey
pinch of sea or kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 C canola oil
2 2" thick slices of fresh, ripe seedless watermelon
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, spooned out of the peel
2 oz goat cheese
4 basil leaves, on the chiffonade

For the vinaigrette-
Add the onion, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to a small bowl, let sit for 10 minutes to soften up the onion.  Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify, or zap with your stick blender.  Set aside. 

For the salad-
Plate up a nice hunk of watermelon slice, season lightly with sea salt and pepper.  Thinly slice each avocado half, retaining the shape as you fan out on top of the melon.  Season lightly with S&P.  Crumble half of the goat cheese on each slice.  Distribute half of the basil chiffonade on each, then drizzle with the vinaigrette. 

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