I got a little wistful this weekend at the farmersâ€™ market because in a few weeks itâ€™ll all be over â€“ our local market runs only in the summer.
I felt a little sad picking through the seasonâ€™s final strawberries, blueberries and cherry tomatoes to make this salad.
I always get this feeling towards the end of summer; itâ€™s bad, so bad that Iâ€™ll normally try different things to prolong the inevitable â€“ 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, itâ€™s perfect and magical.
Henry James called it â€˜the two most beautiful words in the English languageâ€™.
This citrus and berries salad is kind of like a summerâ€™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 weâ€™ve been getting, and soon I couldnâ€™t get enough of it.
A salad like this shouldnâ€™t be this good, but it is delightfully complex and refreshing.
Itâ€™s savoury and juicy, with a bit of sweetness from the berries and oranges, the vinaigrette adds a sweetened tangy and tart component and thereâ€™s the wonderful crunch and nuttiness from the pecans.
Iâ€™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 â€“ I guess what Iâ€™m trying to get at here, is that itâ€™s a versatile salad.
This salad, and summer afternoonsâ€¦ Iâ€™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 â€“ 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