Mixed Greens Summer Salad
I absolutely love this time of year. The garden is in full swing and I am able to pick freshness straight from the garden to enjoy immediately. It is wonderful. The first thing I harvest is my mixed greens. I make a Mixed Greens Summer Salad using all the seasonal fruits and vegetables readily available this time of year.
I decided to celebrate the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer with a delightful combination of both. Today’s Mixed Greens Summer Salad includes mixed greens of red and green lettuce, spinach, and arugula. A good visual guide to lettuce and greens can be found at Epicurious if you are curious about what summer salad greens unique characteristics are.
After choosing the greens for your Mixed Greens Summer Salad it is time to think of the type of fruits and vegetables you may want to showcase on top of your greens. I chose cucumbers and watermelon because they seem to play well together, complimenting each other nicely without overpowering. The sweet onion was chosen to offset the sweetness and add a little “bite” to the flavor profile. The English Cuke was jazzed up a bit by leaving strips of skin on the cucumber to create a striped effect. You can see this technique at Rada Cutlery. Also, cutting watermelon can be quite messy, I found a great technique to keep the mess to a minimum at Recipes for our Daily Bread, it’s a neat little trick so be sure to check it out!
Once all the players in your Mixed Greens Summer Salad have been chosen it is time to think about the dressing that will show your mixed greens, fruits and vegetables off to their best advantage. I love a tangy, tart vinaigrette with just a touch of sweetness, so this is what I aimed for in my Sweet Orange Vinaigrette dressing to marinate the watermelon, cucumber and sweet onion with.
Once the cucumber, watermelon, and onion has marinated it is now time to put your Mixed Greens Summer Salad together with a few finishing touches to make it perfect! A great tangy salty cheese and an acidic berry offset the sweetness perfectly. I chose Gorgonzola because it is my all-time favorite and blackberries for their big bold juicy flavor and bright color to compliment and add a bit of beauty to the Mixed Greens Summer Salad. To finish, scatter a few chopped chives for added garnish and color. Voila… a beautiful, colorful Mixed Greens Summer Salad that screams summer and will please even the most discriminating of guests.
- A variety of fresh organic mixed greens, washed and torn into bite sized pieces.
- English cucumber, ends removed, cored and sliced into ¼ in half rounds.
- 3 cup Seedless Watermelon, cubed into bite sized pieces.
- ½ cup thinly sliced sweet onion.
- 1 Orange freshly juiced, approximately ½ cup.
- ½ medium shallot, finely minced, about 1 tbsp.
- ¼ cup good quality white wine,( I used Sauvignon Blanc because it is what I had on hand).
- ¼ cup Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (in my opinion one of the best out there).
- ¼ tsp sea salt.
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- 6 tbsps Gorgonzola
- 1 Pint of blackberries, rinsed and dried gently with paper towel.
- Minced chives for garnish.
- Place sliced cucumber, cubed watermelon, and sliced sweet onion in large bowl and gently toss. Slip mixture into a large heavy duty ziplock bag. Close and set aside while you make vinaigrette.
- In small bowl add all remaining ingredients, except blackberries, Gorgonzola cheese, and minced chives, whisk until well blended.
- Reserve ¼ cup vinaigrette, refrigerate until it is time to assemble your Summer Salad.
- Pour remaining vinaigrette into ziplock bag over fruit and vegetable mixture. Close ziploc bag and carefully turn bag to saturate mixture well. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes, turn bag and return to refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes more.
- Assemble salad by placing salad greens onto 6 chilled salad plates.
- Divide marinated fruit and vegetables evenly and atop the salad greens.
- Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp Gorgonzola and a 3 to 4 blackberries (depending on size).
- Drizzle reserved vinaigrette over each salad.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”