As the weather is finally heating up in Chicago I find myself making a lot more salads these days. Besides feeling light after eating, salads usually don’t require me to turn on the oven, which keeps my apartment nice and cool as well. I put together this salad using an interesting new ingredient I discovered while browsing the expo floor at the National Restaurant Association Show this year. Sid Wainer and Fresh Origins offers a line of flavor crystals by taking herbs and flowers and cooking them down with a bit of sugar. Currently they offer rose, fennel, basil, and mint.
I used the basil crystals for my salad, but mint probably would have tasted great as well. While I was whipping up this salad I was thinking of other ways I could use the crystals in the future. I think that the rose ones would taste great sprinkled on some fresh vanilla ice cream, and the mint ones would be the perfect accent to a glass holding a mojito.
- 3 oz goat cheese
- ½ English cucumber
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 1 tablespoon basil crystals
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon flavored balsamic vinegar (I used fig)
- Slice up the cucumbers and tomatoes and layer on a plate
- Mince up the chives into pretty fine pieces and sprinkle on top of cucumbers and tomatoes
- Sprinkle basil crystals on top of salad
- Break up goat cheese into small chunks and sprinkle on top of cucumbers, tomatoes, chives, and crystals
- Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar