In the heat of summer, it’s often hard to think about food, much less eat a full meal. There are days when only water and ice cold popsicles sound appetizing. Especially Otter Pops—those non-frozen popsicles you buy in a box and stick in your freezer, and once they are frozen you push the sugar water out of the slinky plastic wrap. Ah! Nothing quite says summer like Otter Pops. When I was growing up, Otter Pops didn’t have characters, and I only remember four flavors. Now Otter Pops are all kinds of cute. Anyway, on those kinds of energy-sucking-sticky-with-heat days, I find light lunches and dinners of fresh fruit and veggies are just the ticket. I love salads any time of year, of course, but summer particularly requires refreshing meals, just as winter is rich, warming comfort food time.
Summer is also a great time to find fresh fruit, and if you haven’t yet ventured into combining greens with fruits, nuts, and cheese, you should give it a try! Veggie salads are tasty, but fruit and veggie salads are juicy, delectable, crave-worthy treats. For this salad, I use strawberries, mango, toasted pecans, and chévre, with a pomegranate shallot vinaigrette. The result is a sweet, creamy, crunchy salad with accents of bitter greens and a delicate onion flavor from the shallots.
mesclun (also known as spring greens)
pecans, chopped and toasted
fresh ground pepper
pure pomegranate juice
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
For the dressing, combine equal parts pure pomegranate juice and extra virgin olive oil. Finely dice about ½ tsp. shallots for every ¼ cup of dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk well.
For the salad, use the ingredients in whatever amount you like. For my salad, which fed two as a side salad, but could easily feed 3-4, I used about 6 strawberries, quartered, 1 mango, diced, a medium salad bowl filled ¾ full of mesclun (4-5 cups would be my best guess), ¼ cup toasted pecans, and about 1 ounce of chévre, crumbled.
Add all salad ingredients in salad bowl, along with fresh ground pepper, if desired, and pour dressing over top. I refrain from tossing, as the ingredients are delicate.