Farewell, Summer Salad

Farewell, Summer Salad
This was a bright, fresh salad. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I made it! As we’re in the dead of winter, it felt a little sunshine-y to post something with brighter colour and flavour, even though it makes me wistful for when tastier food is in season. This salad used up the last of the cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes from my garden as well as some home-grown arugula (seriously, the easiest thing to grow. I sprinkled the seeds on the ground and we had salad greens all summer long!). I’ve given specifics here, but everything’s interchangeable – the nuts and dried fruit could easily be substituted with other varieties. It was paired with my first attempt at truffled macaroni and cheese – the second attempt, much more successful, was last night’s.

Farewell, Summer Salad with Cherry-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

1 head frisée

1 head raddicchio

arugula

spinach

a handful or two of yellow pear tomatoes

a handful or two of cherry tomatoes

a handful of mixed dried berries (blueberries, cherries and cranberries)

a handful of seasoned, toasted pecans (here, spiced with cumin, rosemary and balsamic)

leaves from a few sprigs of fresh tarragon

For the vinaigrette:

about a teaspoon of chopped shallot

about 2 tablespoons of cherry vinegar (I have a hunch that white vinegar mixed with cherry juice would do in a pinch)

freshly ground black pepper

about 3 to 4 tablespoons of hazelnut oil

Chop or tear the frisée, raddicchio, arugula and spinach into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, dried berries, toasted pecans and tarragon. Toss to distribute everything evenly.

In a small mason jar, mix the vinaigrette. Whisk together the shallot, cherry vinegar, and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the hazelnut oil in a steady stream until combined. Put the lid on the jar and set aside until it’s time to eat.

When ready to serve, divide salad evenly between plates. Shake the jar to recombine the dressing, if needed, and drizzle lightly over the salad.