I got a little wistful this weekend at the farmers’ market because in a few weeks it’ll all be over – our local market runs only in the summer.
I felt a little sad picking through the season’s final strawberries, blueberries and cherry tomatoes to make this salad.
I always get this feeling towards the end of summer; it’s bad, so bad that I’ll normally try different things to prolong the inevitable – I take a vacation, have drinks on the patio every evening and even wear white after Labour Day in protest.
Yet nothing beats a summer afternoon, it’s perfect and magical.
Henry James called it ‘the two most beautiful words in the English language’.
This citrus and berries salad is kind of like a summer’s afternoon, languidly wholesome.
This has been my lunch for most weekend afternoons these last few months, it started out as an easy way to use up all those summer berries we’ve been getting, and soon I couldn’t get enough of it.
A salad like this shouldn’t be this good, but it is delightfully complex and refreshing.
It’s savoury and juicy, with a bit of sweetness from the berries and oranges, the vinaigrette adds a sweetened tangy and tart component and there’s the wonderful crunch and nuttiness from the pecans.
I’ve tried raspberries and blackberries, with peppery arugula and champagne vinaigrette.
I gave this recipe to my friend N., who makes it as a side topped with blue cheese to go with grilled steaks and potatoes for dinner – I guess what I’m trying to get at here, is that it’s a versatile salad.
This salad, and summer afternoons… I’m hoping for a bit more of both.
Citrus and Berries Salad
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons juice of lemon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (optional)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 – 8oz mesclun salad mix or your favourite greens
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced or quartered
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 tangerine, peeled and separated (or orange, peeled and segmented)
- 1/4 cup cheery tomatoes, cut into halves (or sundried tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic maple syrup, and salt and pepper in a mason jar (or any screw-top jar)
- Shake vigorously to combine and emulsify
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary
- Add greens, berries, tangerine and tomatoes and mix
- Just before serving, toss to coat with dressing and top with pecans