Peach Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans, & Pickled Onions

Salad… oh the glorious salad…

Peach & blueberry salad with goat cheese, pecans, & pickled onions

I ask myself: Why has my blog been active for 6 weeks and in all my 15 posts I have yet to give you a salad recipe, when I eat salad ALL the time??  Some things make no sense.  I apologise, friends… I have been remiss.

So many good salads, so little time…

To me, a good salad is one that is more than just the standard lettuce/tomato/cucumber/Ranch dressing combo that languishes on many restaurant menus.  No, a good salad has something to make it sparkle, to give it zest, to make it say, “EAT ME!”  A good salad makes diners spoon-fight in the bowl for that last drippy bite.  You know what I’m talking about.

Peach & blueberry salad with goat cheese, pecans, & pickled onions

This salad was inspired by one that I tried recently at Poggio Trattoria in Sausalito, California, when I was on vacation with my family.  It met my criteria of wanting to spoon-fight for the last bite, only I was too polite to engage in this with my brother and sister-in-law.  It was really their salad, not mine, regrettably.

The few bites I did have lingered on my mind this whole week, and I couldn’t wait to recreate it and completely stuff my face satiate myself with it.  I started with a box of fresh peaches (aren’t they gorgeous?) from Trader Joe’s, which is now in southeast Denver, yippee! I love this store.

Fresh peaches

But of course I had to make a few changes to the restaurant salad… you know me!!  I added blueberries in addition to the peaches, and used toasted pecans instead of candied walnuts.  The pickled onions were surprisingly easy to make- just soak sliced onions in red wine vinegar and a bit of sugar.  I probably could have used more sugar, but it seemed fine with just a little.  (By the way, start this process ahead of time- I soaked my onions for about 6 hours before making my salad.)  I also have no idea what dressing Poggio used, so we’re using a maple balsamic vinaigrette.  It works.

Peach & blueberry salad with pickled onions, pecans, & goat cheese

And actually, everything works.  It makes sense, really- take any 2 elements of this salad and they are delicious together:

mixed baby greens + pickled onions

peaches + pecans

blueberries + goat cheese

But put them all together and that’s when it really pops.  You all of a sudden have a glorious symphony of sweet + tart + creamy + bitter + tangy + gorgeous colours + a medley of textures that makes this salad perfection on a plate… and in your mouth.  Oh it makes me want to eat it again NOW.

Peach & blueberry salad with goat cheese, pecans, & pickled onions

Make it now, while you can, while peaches are in season.   If you don’t live in “peach country,” use mangoes instead.  But wherever you live, make it… I promise you won’t regret it.

Peach Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans, and Pickled Onions

Prep Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2-2 cups

Peach Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans, and Pickled Onions

Ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed baby greens
  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled & sliced
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries, rinsed & dried
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
    for the pickled onions:
  • ½ red onion, sliced vertically
  • 3 T. sugar
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
    for the dressing:
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • ½ t. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

    To make the pickled onions:
  • Combine sliced onions, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small, non-reactive bowl. Make sure onions are covered completely.
  • Cover and place in refrigerator about 6 hours, stirring a few times. When you use them, be sure to drain well.
    To make the dressing:
  • Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined.
    To assemble the salad:
  • Arrange the salad greens on a large platter or in a large salad bowl.
  • Add peaches, blueberries, pecans, goat cheese, mint, and pickled onions (you might not use all the pickled onions.) Toss to combine.
  • Add about 3-4 tablespoons of dressing (you won’t use it all) and toss again until salad is coated. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

Notes

The 6 hours is for the onions to soak in the vinegar mixture- just be sure to start this process in advance of wanting to eat your salad!

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