Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Category: Salads (page 1 of 4)

Splendid Summer Salad

Experience some of summer’s freshest flavors in this salad.  Crisp mixed greens are combined with a ripe sliced peach, chopped green onions, creamy goat cheese, and a homemade lemon-lavender-ginger dressing.  It’s all about contrasts and balance in this salad, where you combine crunchy greens with the smooth peach and goat cheese, and invigorating lemon juice with soothing lavender, ginger, and honey.  The result is a flavorful and refreshing salad that works great as a light lunch or a side to a more substantial meal.

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Peach-Plum Salad

Luscious peaches and plums, along with chopped walnuts, crumbled Feta, and leafy lettuce make up this refreshing salad.  A spritz of honey and lemon juice give it a light dressing that brings out the rich flavor of the fruit.  When you are looking for a light lunch or lively side dish, there is nothing like a seasonal salad to brighten your day and boost your immune system.

peach-plum saladSome days, I really crave a good salad to energize my body with fresh, bright ingredients.  As a result of my baking craze this past few days, I am in desperate need of a light lunch!  (My latest baking adventure includes soft pretzels, which are so good, but still need more practice before they hit the blog).  This peach-plum salad works really well, because it is super-easy to make, and it uses the best of late summer fruits.  Peaches with honey and lemon juice taste like a heavenly combination to me, and the savory aspect of the walnuts and Feta add depth to the flavor.

peach-plum saladLate summer is my favorite time of year to eat peaches, since their flavor and color seems to match the glorious mellow warmth of the September sun.  We have had absolutely stunning weather the past couple of days, and I just want to hold onto this as long as possible, because to me, this is the most comfortable weather we get.  Cool, misty mornings give way to warm, soft afternoons, which lead to dinners full of fresh fruits and vegetables out on the screened-in porch.  Nights are cool, and the breeze coming in the open windows is laden with the sound of crickets and cicadas.  The light outside is not so strong as it is in the height of summer, so it is a photographer’s dream.

peach-plum saladThis salad is so very easy to make, it hardly requires a recipe, and sometimes just a pretty photo and a few words will remind us of a great combination of delicious, healthy ingredients. I have included a recipe below, though it is flexible and can be adjusted easily.  I consciously used honey in the dressing, not only because it tastes great with this salad, but also because I have heard that consuming locally-made honey can help with allergies.  This is the time of year when I often get seasonal allergies, so I have been trying to incorporate local honey into my meals as often as possible.

I hope you are having a great week, and enjoy the diffused light of September! Sometimes it is easier to see when the light is not so bright. “Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.” ~C. Day Lewis
peach-plum salad ingredientspeaches and greens

Peach-Plum Salad

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh, ripe peach
  • 1 fresh, ripe plum
  • a small head of leafy lettuce, such as Boston lettuce or green leaf lettuce
  • a handful of chopped raw walnuts
  • crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the honey and the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust the levels if you wish.

Wash the lettuce, pat it dry, and tear it into bite-sized pieces.  Wash and slice the peach and the plum.  Place the lettuce on two salad plates and top with sliced peaches and plums.  Sprinkle a handful of walnuts onto the salads, and then a handful of crumbled Feta.  Drizzle the honey-lemon juice mixture over the salads.  Top with a tiny bit of ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Asparagus Quinoa Salad

In this asparagus quinoa salad, fresh asparagus is roasted with pistachios and then mixed with quinoa and a homemade honey-garlic vinaigrette.  The result is a salad rich in superfoods, with lots of flavor and tons of nutrients.  It’s the perfect salad to take to a picnic, to enjoy with lunch, or to use as a side dish at dinner.  It’s light, while at the same time satisfying and filling.

DSC_0679I love how fluid recipes can be.  They are never exactly the same twice, and they bring with them stories, memories, and reminders of friends or family members who have shared or contributed to the recipes.  The same goes for sharing meals with others too.  We get ideas from one another and build on our conversations and memories.

asparagus quinoa salad 1Quinoa salad has been on my mind lately for a number of reasons.  My soccer mom/walking buddies have been making versions of it and we’ve been exchanging ideas, plus my mother is on a quinoa kick as well.  The other day when we were over at her house, she made some asparagus and quinoa separately, but they ended up getting mixed up on my plate, and they tasted great together.  I knew I wanted asparagus in my next quinoa salad.

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In addition to vegetables, one of my friends likes to put nuts in her quinoa salads. The only nuts I have in the house right now are pistachios. I thought those would be good with the asparagus too.  Little did I know that when I googled asparagus and pistachios, lots of recipes came up! Apparently I was not the only one who thought this would be a good combination.  The following asparagus quinoa salad recipe is very basic, and based loosely on a few different recipes I found, my own experience with asparagus and quinoa, plus input from friends and my mother.  That’s what I mean about recipes being so fluid.  They are influenced by those we talk with or read about, plus by what is in season, and what we have on hand.  They are like living, breathing entities sometimes, changing with the weather and the circumstances.

This asparagus quinoa salad is really satisfying.  The nutty flavor of the quinoa blends deliciously with the pistachios and asparagus, and the vinaigrette gives it just the right amount of sweetness and zing.  Feel free to add other vegetables you have in your kitchen, and if you are in a hurry, just add your favorite salad dressing instead of making it from scratch.  The versatility of quinoa is one of its strongest attributes, along with its huge health benefits. I plan to make versions of this salad all summer long, depending on which vegetables are in season.

I hope you all have a great weekend! The weather here has been gorgeous.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  The kids will be out of school soon.  It’s been a full few days around here, with a soccer tournament and a state track meet, along with end-of-the-school-year events and other gatherings too.  I have not had a chance to visit other blogs like is enjoy doing.  I hope to catch up on that this weekend.  At this time of the year, with the beautiful weather and flowers blooming, I always hear my grandpa’s voice quoting part of a James Russell Lowell poem: “And what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days….” I hope you enjoy some beautiful June days.asparagus and pistachioschopped asparagusquinoa and asparagusThis recipe will be shared over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam.

Asparagus Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients:

  • about 1 pound (or one bunch) of asparagus
  • 1/2 cup of roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • a couple sprigs of fresh mint (optional)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the pistachios from their shells and measure them to 1/2 cup.  Wash the asparagus and snap off the tough ends.  Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.  Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.  Spread the asparagus pieces and pistachios into a single layer on the baking sheet and gently toss with the olive oil.  Bake in your 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes, checking to see that the asparagus is tender, and removing it when the asparagus is just-tender.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in according to the package directions.  When the quinoa is done (expanded, tender and all the water is absorbed), transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool some.  When the asparagus is done, let it cool some as well.

While things are cooling, mix up the vinaigrette in a glass container.  Combine the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and mined garlic, and stir well.  If you have a glass bottle with a screw top, combine the dressing in there and shake.

Then mix the asparagus/pistachio mixture with the quinoa in the bowl, and pour the vinaigrette in as well.  Stir gently but thoroughly to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  Add some chopped fresh mint leaves if you wish.  Serve at room temperature.  Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

 

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