Just a short one today on a mini project I’ve been trying to kick into gear for a while now. I came up with the idea of an autumn salad a couple years ago now, and it’s always been one of my favorite recipes. In a few weeks when it’s more “autumn-y” out (the highs are still in the upper 80s-low 90s here!), I have to go back and tweak it and photograph it.
I love the seasonal combination of fresh fruit, dried fruit, crunchy nuts, and flavorful cheese in my autumn salad, and it’s tied together perfectly with the maple mustard vinaigrette. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to expand that to making a salad for each season. So at the tail end of the summer, here’s my summer salad!
I’m going on the same lines as the autumn salad, incorporating fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and a good strong cheese all with a nod towards what’s in season. And thankfully, I’ve made up a template and started to plug in ideas for the other two seasons, so it shouldn’t take me as long this time to bring them to fruition. No pun intended!
For dinner, I increased the protein by adding a Gardein chick’n scallopini for each serving, and used Jarlsberg cheese for Mike’s portion because he hates blue cheese. If you have or are a blue cheese hater, try it with goat cheese instead. Unfortunately, another thing Mike doesn’t like. Silly guy!
Summer Salad with Tarragon Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side or starter.
1 head of butter lettuce, washed and chopped
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 medium nectarine, thinly sliced
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 Tbsp walnut or other nut oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine first six ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Blend dressing ingredients together well, adjusting to taste (I used a mini food processor here to incorporate the tarragon). This will make more dressing than needed, so use to taste.
Toss together salad and dressing, and serve immediately.