The perfect summer salad.

8 06 2010

Okay. I tricked you. There is no perfect summer salad. The combinations of fruit, veggies, and dairy are almost endless. Especially this time of year. And that’s the beauty of salad. Watermelon with mint, pear with blue cheese…

*Wipes drool off keyboard*

I’m bad at making salads. Wait – no, I’m bad at making a variety of salads. I tend to just get hooked on certain ingredients and that’s all I’ll eat for months. So this month I’m going to share the salad I’m currently “leafy” over. It’s delicious. And summer-ish. And has my favourite ingredient in it – goat cheese! Can you picture goats tramping around my salad eating all my red leaf lettuce? I just did. That would be awkward. Not to mention messy. I love goat cheese. My mom recently found a wheel of goat cheese that looks and feels exactly like brie. It’s OMG. Big time. I don’t know what it’s called but she got it from Safeways. So go forth and plunder those wheels of goat’s cheese.

The second crucial, but potentially unobtainable ingredient for those outside of Saskatchewan, is the delectable, truly irresistible Saskatoon Berry Salad Dressing made by Riverbend Plantation.  Here’s a direct link to buy this incredible dressing: Yum on Salad. If you’re really anti-internet purchasing, but dying to try it and you’re on my “good list” – meaning you’ve fed me in the past and are willing to feed me in the future. I can likely hook you up with a bottle or two. But you have to invite me over for dinner. Did I mention the “feed me” part?

Saskatoon Berry Salad Dressing

Saskatoon Berry Salad Dressing

All right. So now you have two ingredients and you’re feeling good about it. At least I am. Because it’s going to be delicious! Think of this salad as a meal. Like an entire meal. Sans meat. Or you can make a mini version of it, but then you’ll miss out on really loading it up with fruit, veggies, and dairy. So hold the meat n’ potaters!

Third ingredient: walnuts. I once received a giant box as a Christmas gift from a publication (long story). It was filled with about 5 pounds of salted walnuts. At first I scoffed and wondered why they didn’t just send chocolate. They sat in my fridge for months. Quietly waiting for me to devour them. And one day I decided I needed more room and I took these nuts out. And I put a handful on my salad and SNAP! Salted nuts on salad with my sweet, tangy Saskatoon berry dressing. You could really add any kind of nut you want. Or even pumpkin seeds if you’re allergic!

Lastly, chop up some green onion and strawberries (or nectarines/pears) and throw them on top of a messy bed of butter leaf or red lead lettuce. Layer on the dressing. Watch out first time users. Like its predecessor, the squeeze bottle, sometime the dressing gets clumped together and comes out all at once. I call it goodness. You might say, “Easy does it!”

Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight.

The Perfect Summer Salad

5 strawberries

Handful of salted walnuts (or whatever you have available)

2 green onions, chopped (or scallions – that sounds like a pirate word. “Aarr.. mateys. Tie the scallions and trim the masts!)

1/4 cup of goat cheese crumbled or sliced

2 tbsp Riverbend Plantation Saskatoon Berry Dressing (or a sweet vinaigrette)