Now that the weather seems to be cooperating and we have returned to summer, it's time to reset our menus back to regularly scheduled programming of offering foods of the season again.
Batter up: Fruits and Vegetables. How many times have you heard your mom say "eat your fruits and veggies"? As we have all come to learn, moms know best. These two food groups are the real powerhouses of the food chain, packing all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you could ever want. So it made perfect sense that I would combine both in a summer salad to take full advantage of all those heathy benefits.
I think it's pretty evident by now that my salads contain the not so obvious ingredients. Thus today's combo should not come as a surprise. No lettuce and tomatoes pairing here. Call me odd, that's ok. I am, but in a good way.
I have an intense fondness of combining textures and flavors. Sweet and savory. Soft and crunchy. The fruits and vegetables of summer hit all the right notes, checking those objectives off my list with the extra bonus of adding freshness and interesting flavor profile
My thoughts on this salad were how many seasonal stunners of the moment I could put together in one dish. Corn, blueberries, nectarines, arugula.
Not much more to this story, other than flavor, flavor, flavor.
1 bunch arugula (6-7 c) 2/3 nectarine
3 nectarines (1 for the dressing) 1/4 c scallion, rough slice
1/3 c blueberries 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1 ear of corn, grilled 4 T olive oil
1/3 c blue cheese 1/2 t course sea salt
1/4 c red onion, thinly sliced 1/4 t cracked black pepper
Wash the arugula well. It tends to have a ton of sand, so soak it in cold water in a strainer and lift it out of the water so the sand stays on the bottom. You may need to do this several times. Dry and arrange in a large platter.
Oil, salt and pepper the corn, then grill it. I like using a cast iron grill pan but use whatever is most readily available.
While the corn is grilling. Slice the onions and nectarines.
Once the corn is done, you can begin assembling the salad, layering all the different ingredients atop the arugula in a pleasing manner. I cut some of the kernels off of one side of the cob, then cut the cob in half and place onto the salad.
For the dressing, blend the nectarine, scallion, salt and pepper into a paste. Add the vinegar, oil and pulse until blended. It will be a thick dressing.
You can serve the dressing on the side or drizzle on top.
The flavors of this summer salad creates little flavor bombs in each bite. The arugula provides a peppery note perfectly juxtaposed to the sweetness of the nectarine and blueberries. The red onion has a spicy bite that stands up to the crunchy, savory kernels of corn. Then the salty, sharpness of the blue cheese is mellowed by the creamy sweetness of the dressing. This is party in your mouth kind of salad. Perfect to celebrate summer's bounty. Ideal pairings: hamburgers (with cheese & caramelized onion), grilled pork chops, grilled white flesh fish (ie: Rainbow Trout, Flounder). Summer fun in a bowl. The easiest, and best way to eat your fruits and veggies!