Building a Summer Salad



It’s hardly summer anymore, and I’m gearing up for baking the pumpkin pies and apple dishes that are so perfect in the fall, but I’m posting a few last recipes from summer.  I wanted to share the beautiful pictures and ingredients before we say goodbye to summer’s bounty and tuck in for the chilly fall.

This post is about how to build a summer salad.  There’s no need to over-think or over-complicate any summer ingredients when they’re fresh, ripe, and delicious.  These succulent peaches came from Carter Mountain Orchard, a nearby peach and apple orchard here in Charlottesville, Va.  They taste best of course when eaten atop the mountain on which they grew, but they made a wonderful base for this salad once I got back to the kitchen too.

For a simple, delectable summer salad, I pick a couple bigger vegetables or fruits, in this case peaches and tomatoes, and accent with smaller shreds or pieces of textural, flavorful, and colorful items.  I chose to add blueberries for color and for the bit of a “pop” when you bite into them and diced red onion to add a more savory element to accent the sweetness of the fruits.

As a final creamy element, I added chopped avocado.  The green is also a beautiful accent to all the other bright colors.  Lastly, you can dress the salad if you like.  Tomatoes and ripe peaches add quite a bit of natural juices on their own, but I wanted to add some acid to cut the sweetness of the fruits.  I think that red wine vinegar pairs really well with sweet fruit (without being quite as syrupy and over-powering as balsamic vinegar can be) and especially with red onion.  Lastly, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh-cracked black pepper if desired.


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