Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Vanilla and Melon Vinaigrette
Jiko – The Cooking Place, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Chef Anette Grecchi-Gray
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 10 servings

  • 2 hothouse cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 tomatoes, medium size, cubed
  • Vanilla Dressing (see recipe below)
  • Melon Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 pound arugula

Cut the hothouse cucumbers in half and seed them with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers fine and place them in a stainless steel bowl. Add the salt and mix well with the cucumbers; allow to sit for half an hour at room temperature. Drain all the water from the cucumbers and mix with the red onions and tomatoes. Mix in the Vanilla Dressing; add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Reserve 1-2 Tablespoons of the dressing to coat arugula with the dressing. To serve, mound the salad in the center of a round plate. Drizzle with Vanilla Dressing; add Melon Vinaigrette with cottage cheese and basil around the mound of salad. In a stainless steel bowl, mix the arugula with the vanilla dressing and salad mix. Place the dressed arugula atop and serve immediately.

Vanilla Dressing
Yield: 10 servings

  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together and adjust seasoning to taste. Reserve until ready to use.

Melon Vinaigrette with Cottage Cheese and Basil Chiffonade
Yield: 10 servings

  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe melon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 3/4 cup watermelon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 2 dashes Kosher salt
  • 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon basil leaves, finely sliced

Pour the canteloupe melon and watermelon juices in a large bowl. Add the salt and black pepper; mix in the lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and adjust seasoning, if needed. When ready to serve, mix in the cottage cheese and the finely sliced basil leaves.