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.
We have lettuce and kale growing like crazy in our garden, so I have been looking for ways to use them. Our lavender is also thriving, and I love to incorporate it into as many things as I can in the summer. As I was sorting through my cookbooks, I came across a recipe booklet a friend gave me years ago from a lavender farm called Purple Haze Farm in Sequim, Washington. In this booklet was a recipe that I adapted to make this salad, because it uses many of the ingredients I wanted to use! I love the fact that it tastes like summer in every bite, and the zingy lemon in the dressing is balanced by the sweetness of the peach, goat cheese, and a touch of honey.
My love of lavender is very wide and very deep. We have grown it for many years, and it thrives in our south garden. In previous years I have posted recipes for lavender whipped cream and lavender sugar. When we go up to northern Michigan, there is a lavender farm there I love to visit, where I get lavender soap and lavender hand cream. I love the fragrance and all the different shades of purple, but I think it’s the soothing effect that appeals to me so much, since I tend to be on the anxious side of the spectrum. So when it is peak lavender time in the garden, I look for recipes that have lavender in them.
Balance in food, like balance in all aspects of life, is a process. Balance feels good, and balance is healthy, but it is difficult to sustain balance in a world where change is constant. Sometimes it feels like all we can do is keep trying to regain our balance each time we tip one way or the other, and hopefully embrace the journey! In any case, this salad embodies the idea of balance for me, with its contrasting flavors and textures all coming together. I followed the recipe from the booklet for the most part, except that I added some honey to the dressing, because with my lettuce being a little bitter, I felt it needed more sweetness. As I was adding honey, it made me think about the quest for balance and that everybody has a different taste for a balanced salad dressing, and for that matter, a balanced life.
This salad is a delicious balance for a hot, humid day. It is simple to make and refreshing to eat, and uses some of summer’s freshest ingredients. I hope you are all having a great summer! We finally got some rain this week, and everything is lush and green again. The cucumbers in our garden are arriving! It feels like the peak of summer when everything is a bit sun-drenched from the heat. I have a longing to go to the beach. Have a great weekend! Angie’s Fiesta Friday is co-hosted this week by Tracey @ My Baja Kitchen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. I look forward to sharing this recipe over there.
Splendid Summer Salad
for the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender
- 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger
- 1-2 teaspoons of honey, or to taste
for the salad:
- 10 cups of salad greens (your choice of lettuces, spinach, kale, etc.), thoroughly washed
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 large peach or nectarine, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
In a large salad bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and stir with a whisk. If your greens are bitter, or if the dressing tastes bitter to you, add some honey, a half teaspoon at a time, till it tastes good to you. Tear the greens into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl. Then add the fruit and the green onions. Toss to coat with the dressing. Top with crumbled goat cheese. Serve and enjoy!