I pulled The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook off the shelf this week to try out the watermelon salad from Food Fetish.
On a visit to the Mueller Farmer's Market, I'd picked up a Sugar Baby watermelon from Johnson's Backyard Garden. An heirloom variety of melon, they are packed with sweetness, unlike the typical grocery store variety which have gradually lost most of their flavor along with the seeds over the years. Watermelon salad seems to be all the rage these days, but I'd yet to try one with Gorgonzola and was curious how the melon would stand up to such a bold cheese.
Had it been one of those flavorless and all-too-common watermelons, I think it would have met its match. But with a sweet, flavor-packed variety such as the Sugar Baby, the sugary melon balances the earthy and pungent Gorgonzola nicely.
I made two small alterations to the recipe as it was laid out in the cookbook. I don't keep garlic salt in my pantry (I typically use just plain ol' fresh garlic + salt), and I didn't double-check the ingredients before going to the store, so I left that out. I used a coarse sea salt instead, to taste, and I added an additional teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar... just because I generally prefer a higher vinegar-to-oil ratio than what was listed.
With the peppery arugula, the result was lovely. Just a simple combination of flavors that all worked well together. Cutting the melon into a square and off-setting the greens made for a pretty presentation as well.
This was my fourth recipe to try from the book, and I've been more than pleased with them all. Others include:
- Creole-Style Barbecue Shrimp from Margaret Christine Perkins of Notes from Maggie's Farm
- Kolache dough and posipka recipes from Dawn Orsack of Svacina Project
- Fried Egg Taco from Mando Reyes and Jarod Neece of Taco Journalism
And then there's my recipe included in the book, which is perfect for this time of year when both sweet potato greens and summer squash are abundant: Sorta Gumbo z'Herbes.
You can find this collection of recipes from Austin Food Blogger Alliance members right here: