I had been wanting to try this recipe, so was very grateful Julia and Alan volunteered (or should I say, were volunteered - no one else in the group wanted to attempt the basil-infused oil!) to make this salad for our food group this evening. It was yummy, and their presentation was just as lovely.
2 c. fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
6 c. cold cubed watermelon (from about 4 1/2 lbs. watermelon), rind removed
3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2" wedges
1 Kirby cucumber, cut into 1/2"-thick slices on the bias
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. crumbled soft goat cheese (4 oz.)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
BASIL OIL DIRECTIONS:
Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch basil for 1 min. Transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain.
Puree basil in a blender with olive oil until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve set over a bowl. Let stand until oil drips through, about 1 hour (do not squeeze cheesecloth).
Toss together watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle with basil oil and more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil.