Someone asked me what I’ve been cooking lately and I realized that I’ve only been making salads. It’s weird, partly because I used to hate salads and partly because I realized that my diet consists of ice cream and arugula. But I guess there are worse problems to have.
This salad came about because I saw a recipe for a “summer abundance salad” on one of my favorite food blogs. Then, the saleswoman at the farmers’ market talked me into buying two cartons of blackberries (“it’s the end of blackberry season!”) and there were some good looking nectarines yesterday. The peaches didn’t look as good, though, so I ended up using plums.
I think my biggest problem with salads is that sometimes they can be boring, but this one isn’t. You can dig out all the good stuff, i.e. everything that sits on top of the arugula, and somehow there are still plenty of basil chickpeas, toasted almonds and blackberries to be had.
Also, let’s talk about the dressing…whoa. That’s all I can say. I had my doubts about adding fig butter, but trust me, it’s so worth it. The fig flavor in the dressing complements the stone fruit, berries and feta. It’s a win-win situation.
I downloaded a bunch of music in one sitting last night while I was half-awake. Here’s a song I’ve been jamming out to this morning.
Summer Salad with Stone Fruit and Blackberries (slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest)
for the salad:
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 1/2 cups cooked white quinoa
1 plum, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 nectarine, thinly sliced
2 ears corn, kernels removed from the cob and roasted in the oven
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
6-9 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
large handful of microgreens and or arugula
1/2 cup mixed toasted nuts + seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, cashews, almonds, etc)
for the spicy honey balsamic vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 rounded tablespoon fig preserves (optional)
1-2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo, chopped
kosher salt + pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the corn kernels until slightly charred. At the end of the roasting time, add a sheet pan to the oven with the seeds and nuts and roast them until they’re slightly brown.
In a medium bowl, stir together the chickpeas and pesto. Let sit at least 15 minutes minutes to marinate.Prepare your grains as directed on the package.
To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake until smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
In a large salad bowl, toss together the quinoa, cherries, berries, nectarine, corn, tomatoes and feta. Stir in the pesto marinated chickpeas and toss the salad with about half the vinaigrette.
To serve, top the salad with sliced avocado, toasted nuts and seeds and fresh greens. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette. Enjoy!