Marinated Watermelon Salad with Madeira Caramel
Level of Difficulty: Medium
1 750 ml bottle Madeira
½ medium sized seedless Watermelon
¼ cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon good quality olive oil
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
16 pieces of asparagus, blanched and peeled
200g goat cheese.
1. Pour bottle of Madeira in a large pot and place over moderate heat, bring to a boil - allow to boil hard for approximately 20 minutes or until it has reduced down to slightly less than a 1/4 cup. It should coat the back of a spoon and be nice and thick. Let it cool. Once cool, pour into a plastic squeeze bottle.
2. Cut watermelon in 4 square shapes approximately 5 cm by 3 cm thick. Season with salt & pepper, a squeeze of lime, and chopped basil. Toss and let rest one hour. Reserve the marinade. Place the watermelon pieces on a high BBQ grill for 1 minute per side. Allow to cool.
3. Blanch the asparagus and cut in 7 cm long pieces. They should all be the same size.
4. Shape goats cheese in rounds or rolls 2-3 cm in diameter. Cut into 8 medallions.
5. Assemble: Toss the asparagus in the marinade from the watermelon. Put 4 pieces of asparagus tight together - and perfectly lined up - down the centre of a plate. Then place the grilled watermelon on top of the asparagus in the opposite direction. Place 2 slices of goats cheese on top and make a zig zag design of the Madeira caramel in the squeeze bottle over top.
When Carla Johnson was a teenager, her Mennonite grandmother caught her mom pouring red wine into a pan of chicken cacciatore and scolded, "Cooking with sin, are we?" That delightful memory inspired her blog & award-winning book "Cooking With Sin: Great Recipes Dipped in Alcohol & Wrapped in a Wonderful Story!"
Complementary Wines: Madeira
, White Zinfandel
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