Is it hot where you are? It’s another scorcher here, with the “feels like” temperature exceeding 40° C. for the third straight day. I lose all desire to cook supper in this heat!
My favourite way to beat the heat and avoid cooking is a big summer supper salad for dinner and this is one of my favourites. It’s like a party of flavours in your mouth – fruity fresh peaches and cherries, smooth and creamy goat cheese, peppery arugula, sweet pecans and the tangy balsamic vinegar. Um yummmm!
This recipe is also almost no cook. The pecans will need about 8 minutes in the oven but if you’re organized, you can make a batch ahead and have them ready for your summer salads.
Need some meat? This salad would be great with cold, leftover grilled chicken or quick-seared scallops on top.
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 ripe peaches (or nectarines)
- 12 ripe cherries (or you could substitute dried cranberries)
- 3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 tsp. each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup goat cheese, about a 140g roll
- [b]For the Candied Pecans:[/b]
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing parchment
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups pecan halves
- Make the candied pecans: with oven rack in centre of oven, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly butter the parchment.
- In a microwaveable bowl, stir together butter, sugar, corn syrup, spices, and salt. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Carefully remove from microwave and add nuts, stirring to coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, separating any clumps.
- Bake, stirring nuts once with a spatula halfway through baking, until golden and bubbling, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack for 30 minutes, then break into small clusters with your hands.
- Candied nuts keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.
- Wash arugula, spinach and mixed greens, then spin dry. Place in a bowl and toss together. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Drizzle dressing over greens and toss to evenly coat. Arrange a nest of greens on each plate. Divide peaches and cherries among salads. Crumble 2 tablespoons goat cheese evenly over top of each salad. Sprinkle with candied pecans. Serve immediately.