Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Fruit Salad

This isn't a fruit salad as in what people normally think of: a berry and melon melange tossed together in a big bowl.

It's more like the idea of a traditional green-leaf salad, but with the addition of great ripe fruit- and it's a salad idea I love.

You'll want to use whatever is the ripest and the best stone fruit you can find. If the peaches are sub-par, get the nectarines instead, but have at least 2 stone fruits so there's a little color and flavor variety in the salad. The jewel-like tones in the finished salad definitely make it visually appealing.

Toasted hazelnuts are a fantastic addition to practically any salad.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C. Place raw hazelnuts on a pan and bake about 10 minutes, shaking the pan and checking the progress about halfway through. Let the hazelnuts cool completely before rubbing the skins off in a tea towel, then roughly chop so they're ready to go.

I don't give exact "how to" in salad assemblage here- mostly because tastes are so different. The vinaigrette recipe makes about 3/4 cup, which, to me, is enough to serve up to 12 small salads (with about a tablespoon of vinaigrette on each).
5 oz (about 140 g) of greens can serve 5-6 people. Although if you're looking to make a meal of it, you'll want more greens and fruit per person.

A bit of crumbled chevre might be a nice addition to each salad.

Summer Fruit Salad
Adapted from a recipe in Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin

3 T (45 ml) Sherry vinegar
2 T (20 g) minced shallot
1/2 t (2 g) sea or kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 T (15 ml) honey
7 T (105 ml) olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

mixed greens

Choose at least 2 of these stone fruits: 
2-3 nectarines
2-3 plums
2 peaches
3-4 apricots

fresh ripe figs

chopped toasted hazelnuts 

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, and salt. Let sit about 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey and then the olive oil. Add black pepper and salt to taste. 

Place greens on each plate and spoon the vinaigrette over each salad. Slice the stone fruit into 12 pieces (less for apricots, more for large peaches), and divide among the salads. Perhaps use 3 slices of each fruit for each salad. Remove the stems from the figs and halve. Place 3 halves or so on each salad. Scatter several blackberries on the salads and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over everything. 

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