July 18, 2010

Peach Spinach Salad

This salad is in a category of one. Call it a picky kid hangover, but I'm just not interested in any other composition of leafy greens.

An old friend and wedding-partner-in-crime served this brilliant salad one humid summer night, and life for me has never been the same. Not only is this the perfect salad, I haven't bought a bottle of dressing since. Why buy the jarred stuff, often loaded with questionable ingredients, when you can whisk up something ten times more tasty with five common ingredients?

Basic Peach Spinach Salad

Pecan halves, toasted
Goat cheese

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Dijon mustard

1. Mix the dressing: Whisk equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a dollop of dijon mustard, pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk into an emulsion. The vinaigrette will keep for a day in the fridge, and then harden. It's fine to go on this way for a week, just allow it to return to room temperature and it will re-liquify.

2. Toast the pecans: heat a pan on medium-high heat for several minutes. Once hot, add the pecans and remove the pan from the heat. Allow nuts to toast for two minutes.

3. Assemble the salad: Pit and dice peach, and add to spinach. Sprinkle with pecans and crumbled goat cheese. Top with vinaigrette.

  • For the fruit component, use whatever is in season including peaches, strawberries, apples or pears
  • To go fancier, dress it up with Candied Pecans instead of raw