Today in Chapel Hill, the heat index was 106 degrees. Yes, that's one hundred degrees and then six more degrees. Personally, I'm not into three-digit weather. The only things that kind of heat is good for are afternoon naps and ice-cold lemonade. Oh, and dinner salads.
This salad, from Epicurious, is one of my favorites. It doesn't require any real cooking (just toasting the almonds) and it's super quick to throw together. Plus, I love the sweet/tangy flavor combination and the way the velvety baby lettuces, crunchy almonds, and plump berries all work together. Blueberries are in season in North Carolina (and other places too, of course) so this is a great time of year to try out this salad!
You will need:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey (I microwaved it for a couple seconds to make it easier to work with)
- 1 5-oz bag baby salad greens
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Pour the vinegar, oil, and honey into a small jar, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake it like crazy. Put the lettuce in a large bowl, pour the dressing over it, and toss to coat.
- Distribute the lettuce evenly between two plates. Top each plate with an equal amount of feta, blueberries, and almonds. Done!
I know that pre-dressing the lettuce makes extra dishes to wash, but it's worth it to me. I like the leaves to be evenly coated, especially because, for some unknown reason, I have a habit of inhaling salad dressing when the dressing is too heavy. (This always happens to me in restaurants -- never when I'm in the comfort of my own home and don't have to be embarrassed by a sudden coughing fit.) Anyway, so I would recommend pre-dressing the salad if you can.
I also like that this is a "do whatever" salad; if you want more feta, you can always add more, and if you don't like so many blueberries, you can decrease the amount you use. I'd imagine some other berries would work well for this salad too, although I think anything with seeds might be more distracting than appealing, but that might just be my personal preference.