Last weekend the weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and it felt like spring had arrived. I was feeling ambitious and decided to make this plate of spring deliciousness. It includes a Stacked Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar, Avocado and Cilantro Mousse, Fresh Cucumber Rolls and Garlic Bread.
Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup cantaloupe, diced finely
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup cashews, chopped (optional)
Handful of fresh mint, julienned
Salt and Pepper
Place balsamic vinegar in a small pot and simmer over low heat until it has reduced and coats the back of a spoon. (should take 15 - 20 minutes). Set aside.
Toast cashew nuts until brown and crunchy.
Sprinkle cantaloupe and tomato with salt and pepper.
Using a ring mold place a layer of cantaloupe at the bottom and pack with the back of a spoon. Place a thin layer of cashews on top of the cantaloupe. Fill the rest of the ring mold with tomato and pack again with the back of a spoon. Pour 2 tsp of olive oil over the salad. Carefully remove ring mold. Pour 1 Tbsp of reduced balsamic vinegar over salad (I did mine in a little criss-cross pattern). Top with mint.
Avocado Cilantro Mousse
2 ripe avocado, halved, skinned and pitted
1 clove garlic
1- 2 Tbsp lime juice
Handful of cilantro
1 tsp salt
Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. You may have to add some water to create the right consistency. Serve with toasted baguette brushed with olive oil and rubbed with a clove of fresh garlic.