Recently my dear friend Susan invited me over for dinner and served one of the best salads I've ever tasted. Yes, when I like something I love it!
I have adjusted the ingredients somewhat (but not much). This salad accommodates soft leafy greens but could work well with just about any lettuce you choose. Susan usually makes her lovely vinaigrette with honey Dijon mustard. But because I am a honey addict the recipe here uses a blueberry honey and regular Dijon mustard. Either way the outcome is delicious. The vinegar should not be too mouth puckering so I chose a really lovely apple cider vinegar produced at the Abbaye Saint Benoit in the Eastern Townships in the province of Quebec.
Have fun with this great salad, use fruit that is in season for a subtly changing flavour througout the summer.
Susan’s Summer Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Ingredients for vinaigrette:
· ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
· ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
· 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
· 1 large tablespoon honey
1) Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey.
2) While whisking, drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream, slowly into the vinegar,mustard and honey. The result will be a creamy emulsified vinaigrette.
Ingredients for the salad:
· 75 g or 3oz wild or baby arugula
· 1 head red leaf, butter, or Boston lettuce
· 10-15 cherries* cut in halves
· 10-15 strawberries* cut in halves or quartered
· 1-2 peaches** chopped in ¼ or ½ inch cubes
· ½ cup blueberries
· ½ cup melon** honeydew, canary or cantaloupe chopped into ½ inch cubes
· 1 avocado chopped in ½ inch pieces
· 4-8 leaves green or purple basil
· ½ cup feta cheese cubed
· sea salt
· freshly cracked black pepper
1) Wash greens, drain well and tear into little more than bite-size pieces
2) Chop peaches. If you prefer to leave the skin on the peaches you can especially if they are first of the season. You could also substitute firm in season apricots* for the peaches.
3) If strawberries are in season (May–early July) use them but later, use cherries. Strawberries should be halved or quartered. For the cherries, if you don’t have a cherry pitter, slice off 4 pieces by cutting close to the pit. You miss a little but it is a fast and easy way to cut cherries.
4) For the avocado, slice in half and remove pit. With a small knife, slice each avocado half with the skin on, into ¼ inch slices. Then slice length-wise. Remove the skin.
5) Cube the melon if using **
6) Cube or crumble the feta cheese.
7) Tear the basil leaves into small pieces.
8) Assemble the salad.
9) Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
10) Drizzle with Honey Mustard vinaigrette
11) Toss well but lightly and serve
* Using in-season local fruit and vegetables is a great way to keep this salad fresh all summer long. The quantity of berries you use will depend on how small or large the berries are and your taste.
** I prefer to use either peaches or melon but not together as the tastes are similarly sweet but don’t compliment one another.