In this beautiful riff on the traditional tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, sweet melon slices are layered with tomato and cucumber and topped with crumbled goat cheese, crisp onion and fresh basil. Any variety of pale green- or orange-fleshed melon will work well. Compose the salad on a large platter for a crowd or make it more elegant by assembling it on individual plates. Either way it’ll look gorgeous.
- Place onion rings in a medium bowl, add cold water to cover and a handful of ice cubes. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- Meanwhile, cut melon in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Remove the rind with a sharp knife. Place each melon half cut-side down and slice crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
- Make the salad on a large platter or 8 individual salad plates. Begin by arranging a ring of melon slices around the edge. Top with a layer of overlapping tomato slices. Arrange a second ring of melon slices toward the center. Top with the remaining tomato slices. Tuck cucumber slices between the layers of tomato and melon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with goat cheese and the onion rings. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with basil.