For the next three or so posts, I’ll be sharing some recipes for a few really great salads. We go through “phases” in our house and I guess this one has arrived. So, with this in mind, today’s recipe has to do with the summer season. It includes fresh cherries that are in abundance at our local grocery store, along with some other interesting attributes. I’ll tell you this – the end salad is delicious, so read on.
This is a vibrant salad. The vinaigrette uses orange juice, so it’s, how shall I say it – bright. Most of the other ingredients in the vinaigrette are common to other recipes, but with the reduction and thickening of the citrus, the bulk of the salad has a wonderfully sweet flavor to it. As for the salad itself, the cherries were totally new to me. I’ve never included them in something like this before. Toasted pecans are always a big hit with me and sugar snap peas are a fun texture to add.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable salad to eat. I liked the combination of summer flavors and I wouldn’t hesitate to make this recipe again.
For the Vinaigrette
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Shallot, Minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon
Ground Black Pepper
For the Salad
3 Cups Packed Baby Spring Salad Mix
1/2 Cup Fresh Cherries, Halved and Pitted
1/2 Cup Sugar Snap Peas, Trimmed
2 Tablespoons Goat Cheese, Crumbled
1/3 Cup Pecans, Crumbled and Toasted
I’d like to thank Hannaford grocery stores and their resource called Fresh for this recipe. Fresh is a periodic magazine that’s full of some sweet information and tons of great looking recipes. Laura and I really should be using it much more, as we’ve had good luck with what we’ve made from it so far.
Make the Vinaigrette
Add the orange juice to a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. When the juice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until approximately half of the liquid has evaporated. Doing this will thicken and sweeten the juice and will make it perfect in the vinaigrette.
After the orange juice has been reduced, add it to a medium sized bowl. Also add the vinegar, shallot, mustard, olive oil, mayonnaise, tarragon, a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper. Combine all these ingredients well and set aside for later use.
Prep the Cherries
To remove the pits from the cherries, I placed each cherry on my cutting board. I cut into it with my chef’s knife and rolled the cherry. That basically made a nice slice all the way around it. Then, I twisted the two halves until they came apart and pulled each pit out. I placed the halves in a bowl and set it aside for later use.
Toast the Pecans
Warm a small skillet over medium heat. Then, once the pan is to temperature, add the pecans to it. Toast for a few minutes, while flipping them actively. When you begin to smell them, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. Place the toasted pecans in a bowl for later use.
Prep the Peas
This is easy. All you need to do is to place the peas on your cutting board and trim about 1/4 inch off both sides of each pod. Place the trimmed peas in a bowl for later use.
In a large bowl, add the spring salad mix, cherries, snap peas and the vinaigrette. Toss well until everything is coated.
Plate & Serve
Divide the tossed salad between two plates. Then, sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese and the toasted pecans over the salad on each plate. Serve.
The Final Salad
Really, after the prepping is finished and the vinaigrette is prepared, this recipe is easy to pull off. It’s tasty, has a great texture and is very seasonal. It’s a pure joy. Enjoy and thanks for reading!