It’s the mooooooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the year… and here’s why:
1. It’s 80 degrees of perfect outside.
2. Right now in my kitchen, I have fresh blueberries, apricots, heirloom tomatoes, two kinds of cherries, figs and probably some other fruits I’ve forgotten about. Life is good when there’s this much amazing fruit.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. I love making meals that center around fresh produce. Look at all this color (and vitamins. And fiber. And and and).
This is a salad that Dave and I made on the weekend. One of my favorite things about it is that I dressed the greens with just olive oil and lemon juice – and then piled everything else on. Vinagrettes and ranches are great (goodness knows I love me a blue cheese dressing) but there is something just perfect about a little bit of fat and acid and nothing else. Just make sure you are using an excellent quality olive oil when you do (if you can’t taste the oil, it is the wrong oil for the job).
We had such an amazing weekend – for the first time in a long time we had no real commitments. That meant long, lovely hours in the garden; going to Home Depot to start some projects; seeing friends and of course, my favorite: cooking together. This weekend is what summer was meant to be like. Here’s to many more like this one.
Here’s what you need:
2 cups full leaf lettuce, torn up
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup microgreens such as radish or broccoli
1-2 Tbsp. very best quality olive oil
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 cup Rainier cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 medium heirloom tomato, sliced
3-4 slices of fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
3-4 large basil leaves, chiffonaded
2-3 large mint leaves, chiffonaded
Wash, dry and toss the lettuce, arugula and microgreens in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, then remove to your serving platter/plates.
Pile plates with sliced mozzarella and tomato, then drizzle with cherries and hazelnuts. Finally, sprinkle the fresh herbs on top. Salt and pepper liberally. Add a final drizzle of olive oil to the top. I recommend serving with good bread, so you can sweep up any remaining tomato juice and olive oil.