for 6 servings
- ½ cup shelled Walnut (or pecans)
- 4 slices thick-cut Bacon (diced)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- For Melon Salad
- 1 cup kentucky Bourbon
- ¼ cup Maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 shallot (peeled and finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped, fresh thyme
- salt (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- ½ Cantaloupe (peeled; seeded and thinly sliced)
- ½ honeydew melon (peeled; seeded and thinly sliced)
- Sea salt (to taste)
- fresh Cilantro (to garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spread the shelled nuts on a baking sheet and roast until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes; set aside.
Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and maple syrup to the skillet and bring to a simmer; cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted nuts and Old Bay. Spread on the baking sheet and let cool, once cool roughly chop.
For Melon Salad:
In a medium saucepan, bring the bourbon to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat; cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the maple syrup and vinegar; bring to a gentle simmer and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 additional minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the shallot and set aside to cool. Whisk in the thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil, whisking until completely incorporated.
Arrange the sliced melon on a platter and season with sea salt. Spoon the bourbon-maple vinaigrette over the melon, then sprinkle with the nuts and bacon mixture. Garnish with the cilantro.