Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with a Verbena-Infused Vinaigrette

August 10, 2009
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This is perfect mix of some of my favorite ingredients. I made it up along the way, but I knew that I definitely wanted to use watermelon, goat cheese and verbena. I wanted an interesting ingredient and to me summer involves verbena. Half of my family is from the south of France in Cannes and every summer at my grandparent's villa we would have verbena tisane fresh from the garden after dinner. We grow it here in Westchester and the tradition continues. I had never used it in a salad but it works really well and adds a great refreshing taste. Overall wonderful for a hot summer night. —loli

Test Kitchen Notes

Not everyone is lucky enough to have lemon verbena growing in the backyard the way loli does, but this recipe is worth seeking some out. The herbal, citrus-scented vinaigrette lightly coats the sweet chunks of watermelon, and goat cheese adds a savory tang. We especially love the toasty crunch of the pistachios. We find that grinding the verbena with just a few drops of oil breaks it down quickly, and then the rest of the oil is easy to incorporate. We used only 4 ounces of goat cheese, but our watermelon wasn't huge and had a particularly thick rind. - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh Verbena Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 seedless watermelon
  • 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons red vine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
  • 1 dash Fresh Pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Roughly chop the verbena and place in a mortar and add the olive oil and the coarse salt. Grind for about 10 minutes and let it sit for about 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Cut the watermelon into cube and place in a salad bowl in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the pistachios in a pan and on low heat toast them for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pistachios from the pan and chop them roughly. Set aside in a small bowl
  5. Crumble the goat cheese.
  6. Take the olive oil and verbena mix and put it through a small mixer. When completely mixed add the vinegar. Mix again.
  7. Take the watermelon out of the fridge, add the goat cheese, drizzle the vinaigrette, sprinkle the pistachios and finish with Maldon sea salt and pepper. Mix and serve!
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