Cucmber, Tomato, and Red Onion Salad - Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

1 English cucumber
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cubed
Vanilla Dressing (recipe follows)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 pound arugla

-Cut cucumber in half, seed, slice fine, and place in a stainless steel bowl
-Add salt, mix well, and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
-Drain water from cucumber and mix with onions and tobatoes.
-Add 1/4 cup od vanilla dressing (reserve the rest) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
-In the center of a large plate, mound the tomatoe, cucumber, and red onion and drizzle 2 tablespoons of melon vinaigrette around them.
-Top with the arugula tossed with 2 tablespoons of vanilla dressing.

Vanilla Dressing
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (you may substitute malt or cider vinegar, but do not use brown balsamic)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-Whisk all the ingredients together, adjust seasoning to taste, and set aside.

Melon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cantaloupe juice
6 tablespoons watermelon juice
Pinch each of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon finely sliced basel leaves
-Juice the cantaloupe and watermelon (cut into small pieces and squeeze by hand or use an old-fashioned glass or metal orange juicer) and measure amounts needed.
-Mix in salt and pepper, then lemon juice.
-Whisk in olive oil and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
-When ready to serve, mix in cottage cheese and basil.


* ChefsNote: Both dressings can be made the day before and kept refrigerated. Never refrigerate tomatoes - they are more flavorful at room temperature.