Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Spiced Nuts

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad | Queen of Quinoa

Danielle, from  Against All Grain, posted this Watermelon Salad a few weeks ago and it sparked something inside of me. All of a sudden I was determined to eat the most watermelon I possible could. I wanted to use this summery fruit in new and creative ways. I started with smoothies, but wanted a salad similar to Danielle’s but with a Vermont twist – the Vermont part being the delicious peppered goat cheese. So I made my own version of her salad, and boy was I glad I did.

In the past, I’ve always been one to buy watermelon when it’s in-season. I mean, how can you not? It’s so gorgeous – with the bright, juicy red center and festive green rind. It screams summer.

But I always eat my watermelon the same boring way. Cut into triangles with the rind on, or cut into chunks. Always out of tupperware. Always.

It was time to spice it up. Time to celebrate this glorious red gem for all its greatness.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad | Queen of Quinoa

I think my love for watermelon stems from our long, sunny beach days in Kennebunkport. This fruit was a staple in our lunch cooler, always perfectly refreshing when you’re soaking up the sun, sitting under the hot sun all day.

It’s like a wisp of air conditioning that flows through your mouth, immediately cooling your whole body down. Nothing better on a hot beach day.

But as we’ve gotten older, those days are becoming farther and farther in between. We’re lucky if we get one weekend where we’re all up there as a family. Those beach days of my childhood, where the days seemed to last forever and summers felt like it would never end, are harder to come by.

So this summer I made a pact with myself. I will take the watermelon from those joyous summer days and bring it to life in Burlington. My goal is to push myself outside of my tupperware boundaries and embrace this summery staple and all it’s amazingness.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad | Queen of Quinoa

This salad is out of this world. Inspired by Against All Grain, it’s sweet, fresh and bursts with summer deliciousness. The watermelon is a perfectly sweet contrast to the tangy goat cheese. And with the spiced nuts, it’s like a bite of fresh summer air topped with a warm candied treat.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Spiced Nuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 2 cups

adapted from Against All Grain

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups watermelon
  • 4 – 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled (we used pepper goat cheese)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. First prepare the candied nuts by heating the oil in a small saute pan.
  2. Add the honey and heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the walnuts and spices to the pan and saute until caramelized and golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Set the nuts aside and let them cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. In a large bowl, add the greens and top with watermelon.
  6. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and candied walnuts.
  7. Serve with balsamic vinegar and a dash of olive oil.
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About Queen of Quinoa

Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. After struggling with stomach issues throughout her college years, Alyssa decided enough was enough and took her health into her own hands. She started by removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t looked back since. Two happy years have passed and her stomach issues have practically disappeared. Living gluten-free has also helped her to truly discover her passion for cooking and she has embraced her new lifestyle with open arms. With the Queen of Quinoa, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is surrounded by fresh, local produce and is always inspired by the fabulous seasonal ingredients that make this state so special. She is excited to share her recipes with you, as she helps to uncover the amazing world of quinoa.
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