Summertime salads really shine thanks to the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be yours for a song at any farmer’s market or fruit stand. With colors so vibrant and varied you think you’ve stumbled into a child’s jewelry box, summer’s bounty is ripe for culinary celebration.
This salad pairs ruby-red raspberries with the earthy bite of emerald-green arugula. Contrast comes from the creamy white of the goat cheese and the more refined pearl of the pear. With a color palette like this, you might be tempted to consider Christmas and indeed, this tasty salad is a gift.
And speaking of Christmas, last month I joined the Secret Recipe Club, a monthly blog event hosted by Amanda at Amanda’s Cookin’. As Amanda says, it’s kind of like a secret Santa but with recipes. This recipe comes from Once a Month Mom, a blog devoted to teaching you to cook seasonally and in bulk; cook today, freeze and eat for a week. I had a blast reading Once a Month Mom, with menus and tips focusing on whole foods, diet, vegetarian, family-friendly and even gluten-free meals. The blog is a great resource for anyone considering freezer cooking, although there are plenty of fresh dishes to choose from, too.
This recipe comes from their Sunday Salads feature, which highlights local, seasonal produce and gathers together the best of the bounty. I was tempted by the dressing, which paired raspberries with mild grape seed oil with a dash of mustard thrown in. Using the original recipe as a guide, I made a few substitutions, like using arugula instead of romaine, red wine vinegar instead of cider vinegar; I can imagine using honey instead of sugar, but didn’t want to deviate too much from the original ratios.
The salad paired nicely with the yellowtail Mr. Gonzo grilled up last night, and could easily become a light brunch with some grilled chicken or salmon slices. Almonds would work well for crunch. I’m anxious to try this with strawberries instead of raspberries, my favorite fruit, both for its sweetness and its affordability. I can imagine the strawberry dressing paired with blue cheese instead of goat cheese, with little crunchy crostini on the side. Add in a glass of chilled wine, an outdoor table set with fresh flowers surrounded by good friends…please excuse me while I slip into summer.
Goat Cheese & Arugula Salad with Raspberry Dressing
For the dressing:
1 cup raspberries (about one basket between the dressing and the salad)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the salad:
4 cups arugula, loosely packed
1 medium pear, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup goat cheese
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients through the dressing; toss lightly to combine.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss again. Serve immediately; arugula can wilt once dressed.
Adapted from a recipe by Once a Month Mom.