The mild cream-Dijon dressing keeps this salad wine friendly.
Dressing (keeps 3 days in the refrigerator):
- 4 to 5 generous teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons good tasting walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 fresh basil leaves, minced
- 2 whole scallions, thin sliced
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 7 large handfuls mixed tart and mild salad greens (Bibb, nasturtium leaves, watercress, romaine, oak leaf, deer tongue, mache, frisee, leaf lettuce,) or two 5-ounce bags organic mixed greens, washed and thoroughly dried
- 1 heaped teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 pounds chilled sweet watermelon, or cantaloupe, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 8 ounces fresh, creamy goat cheese, sliced or scooped into small chunks
- 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, or Walla Walla, thinly sliced into rings
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1. Dressing: Put all the ingredients in a jar, seal the lid, and shake until combined. Taste for more oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside while assembling the salad.
2. Salad: Spread the greens on a big platter. Sprinkle with the herbs. Tuck the watermelon chunks, goat cheese, ham if using, and cucumber pieces into the greens. Scatter the onion slices on top, then the sunflower seeds. Shake the dressing to combine, then zigzag it over the salad. Serve immediately.