Let me tell you the story of this recipe, that I named “Spring Salad ” for obvious reasons.
I like to try new ingredients in my recipes and had been willing to include some flowers for a while, so I bought some salad that included mixed greens and beautiful edible flowers. The flowers made it happy and colorful, so it would look good without much effort.
Once the visual aspect was solved, I started working on the flavors. Living in Holland gives me access to really good cheeses (…and I am a cheese enthusiast, as I come from Asturias where you can find more than 45 varieties and some the best cheeses in the world), so it made sense to find one to go with our salad. I found this goat cheese balls, with a violet fig filling, I knew I had the perfect match.
Now I needed to add a few more elements to include some contrast. Some kind of toasted nuts would add some bite, so I chose pine nuts. I was still lacking a powerful ingredient, something to make the difference, so I remembered an excellent salad I had at The Fat Cow in Beverly Hills and how good the grilled peach Ramsey used was. I started working on it, enhanced the fruit a little and… Voilà!
The Spring Salad was almost ready. It just needed a light, fruity dressing to bring out the flavors. I hope you like it as much as I do.
1 5 ounce (150 grs.) package of mixed baby greens
10-12 edible flowers (could come with the mixed greens)
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1 banana shallot
1 package of fresh goat cheese balls (or cubes, or just chunks, preferably filled with figs or other fruit)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (preferably a fruity variety like arbequina)
1 tbsp. quince vinegar (raspberry or cider vinegar will work too)
½ tsp honey
½ tbsp. sugar
½ tbsp. butter
2 figs (optional)
STEP 1.- Heat up the butter in a small pan. Finely chop the shallot and add it to the butter when ready, brown slowly over medium heat.
STEP 2.- Add the pine nuts to the pan.
STEP3.- Wash and slice the fruit and add to the pan when the shallot and pine nuts are golden brown. Turn the heat to high, add the sugar and toss to coat well all the fruit. Let cook for 1 minute, tossing a few times.
STEP 4.- Prepare the vinaigrette with the oil, the vinegar, salt and honey
STEP 5.- Place the greens on the serving plate, add the cheese and dressing and toss. Add the content of the pan and decorate with the flowers.
– Try to keep the greens and cheese cold until ready to serve. That way you will enhance the contrast between the warm fruit and cold lettuce.
– You can substitute the peaches with prunes, apricots or mango, depending on the seasonal fruit available
– You can also add two figs, cut in quarters and slightly browned with the rest of the fruit