Recipe: Watermelon & Citrus Salad

It's been an especially hot week in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and when it's this warm, I crave watermelon. Last night, I started making a watermelon salad that became what you see above and it was so delicious that I have to share my experimental recipe with you. It nicely complements grilled chicken.

You'll Need
1/4 of a [seedless] watermelon
2 pickling cucumbers (pickling cucumbers are my favorite because they're extra firm)
1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced and include the fronds
1-2 oranges
Zest and juice from one lemon
3-4 tablespoons of pine nuts, toasted (and half a tablespoon of butter for toasting)
1/3-1/2 package of fresh goat cheese (here's my favorite
Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cube the watermelon and add to a bowl, along with thinly chopped cucumbers, fennel, and oranges. Zest and juice lemon and add to mixture. In a small frying pan, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add pine nuts and lightly toast. Allow nuts to cool slightly before adding to bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons (do a taste test) of the orange muscat champagne vinegar and freshly ground pepper, and stir. Finally, add fennel fronds and goat cheese and stir a final time before serving. Enjoy!

* Strawberries, blueberries, and grapefruit would all be a delicious addition to the salad.
* Don't have a Trader Joe's near you? You can order the vinegar through Amazon. Also, any fruity vinegar would do or try a lemon olive oil. Yum.

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