I was sitting down the other day and had simple ingredients in my fridge. I composed this salad and sat outside on the deck sipping a local wine, Horton Vineyards Viognier. The sweet melon, and salt from the cheese, combined with essence from the mint and basil make for a delicious summer treat.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 cups Cantaloupe, balls
2 cups cherry tomato, cut in half
1.5 cups cucumber, small dice
1/2 cup feta, crumbles
1/4 cup mint, fresh, chiffonade
4 oz Basil Oil

Basil Oil
2 oz basil, fresh, blanch, shock
1 cup oil

Preparation
1. Bring water to boil. Once the water is boiling add the fresh basil and boil for about 2 minutes or until the basil leaves are soft.
2. Remove from the boiling water and place the basil into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Take the basil and squeeze the water/liquid out of it until dry. Doing this in cheesecloth or in between paper towels.
4. Place the blanched basil into a blender with 1 cup of oil. Blend for about 4 minutes. The oil will be bright green and no chunks of basil anywhere. Strain in fine strainer or cheesecloth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the feta and basil oil. Divide the melon mixture equally into four serving bowls. Garnish with one ounce of feta cheese in each bowl. Drizzle with one ounce over each salad.

Enjoy!

Kyle Pafford,
Executive Chef,
Atlantic Shores Retirement Community
https://www.atlanticshoresliving.com