Sunday, August 2, 2009

Serendipitous Summer Salad

One hot summer night back in 2007, I combined the freshest, ripest ingredients I could find, a couple bottles of wine, and several good friends. The result was an evening so delicious and memorable that I find myself thinking about it in a homesick and hungry moment almost exactly two years later and thousands of miles away.

Middle Eastern recipes will follow soon enough. In the meantime, try this. Most amounts are up to you; it's hard to go wrong:

Several handfuls Baby Spinach
1-2 Avocadoes, sliced
1-2 handfuls Blackberries
1-2 handfuls fresh Figs, quartered
1-2 handfuls fresh apricots, sliced
1-2 handfuls Walnuts
1 fresh spring onion (or vidalia, or plain old yellow), sliced into thin rings or half-rings
2T Balsamic Vinegar
1 spoonful Mustard (ideally raspberry wasabi dipping mustard)
Juice of 1 lemon
Maple Syrup, to taste
Salt & Pepper

1) Caramelize the onion. Cook 1 chopped onion and plenty of sea salt in approx 1/2c olive oil (to cover and coat) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until browned (but definitely not burned!)
2) Deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar, loosening any bits of onion
3) Still in the pan, add 1 spoonful mustard, lemon juice, and maple syrup to taste.
4) Place greens in bowl. Toss with dressing. Add fruit and toss again.

Variation: Substitute leek for the onion and use frozen blueberries and their syrup in place of some of the maple syrup. Works great in winter when berries are unavailable.

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