Cucumber, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Cucumber, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. Slice up the cucumbers and tomatoes and layer on a plate
  2. Mince up the chives into pretty fine pieces and sprinkle on top of cucumbers and tomatoes
  3. Sprinkle basil crystals on top of salad
  4. Break up goat cheese into small chunks and sprinkle on top of cucumbers, tomatoes, chives, and crystals
  5. Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

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