As much as I love big, crunchy salads, it’s not always easy to get the kids to love them too. Say the word “spinach” and you’ll most likely hear groans and moans. Not this summer! With all the gorgeous fruits and veggies coming into season, it’s so easy to amp up your average salad with a bit of natural sweetness, making it delicious for the entire family. If you’re not into making your own dressing, don’t sweat it! A purchased poppyseed dressing will go beautifully with this combo of fruit and greens.
Baby Spinach Salad with Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese, Blueberries and Peach–Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 8-ounce log goat cheese, chilled
- 1 bag (6 ounces) raw baby spinach, stems removed
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 1/3 cup watermelon cubes, 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice
Dressing (yield: 3/4 cup):
- 1 cup fresh peach slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar, as needed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Vidalia onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine chopped pecans and mint. Spread pecan mixture on a plate or cutting board, and gently roll cheese to coat evenly.
Place peaches, lemon juice and cider vinegar in blender and puree until smooth. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Add canola oil, and then puree until smooth and thickened.
Remove from blender, stir in onion, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away.
In large bowl, add spinach and add enough dressing to coat all of the leaves evenly. Divide dressed spinach on four chilled plates and garnish with blueberries and watermelon.
Slice goat cheese into eight equal pieces using tautly held, unflavored dental floss or a knife. Add two slices of goat cheese on top of each salad. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Rosemary Rutland and the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association