Blueberry, Melon & Goat Cheese Salad with Agrodolce Dressing

by Mollie Doyle


  • Agrodolce Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mixed whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup or so of olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Melon and Goat Cheese Salad:
  • 1 ripe 2 - 21/2 pound ripe Crane melon, muskmelon, or cantaloupe
  • 4 cups lightly packed arugula
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Blueberry, Melon & Goat Cheese Salad with Agrodolce Dressing

Elizabeth Cecil

“This is a very easy summer salad. Agrodolce is a nice counterpoint to the sweet fruit and tart goat cheese, and the spicy greens and tannic walnuts round it out. For different flavor counterpoints, try substituting grilled fresh figs or pears wrapped in prosciutto for the melon.” John Ash: Cooking One on One.

Agrodolce Dressing:

Combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cook without stirring until the mixture is golden and caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully add the vinegar and wine (the mixture will sputter). Place back on medium heat and stir in the garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, and salt. Stir for a minute or two until all the caramel has melted. Remove from the heat, cool, cover, and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight. Whisk in the olive oil and lime juice to taste. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Melon and Goat Cheese Salad:

Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds, and cut off the rind. Cut the flesh into attractive shapes (don’t go crazy—I just mean small slices or something that works on a salad plate). Arrange the greens on plates with the melon and berries. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of the agrodolce on each serving and top with the goat cheese, walnuts, and a grind or two of black pepper. Serve immediately.