Summer Salad

I absolutely love summer. There’s nothing like it. The juicy watermelon, the perfect summer nights around the fire pit, riding in the jeep with no doors, the absolutely overgrown weeds that cause me ridiculous allergies…oh yeah, cannot forget about that one. Summer allergies are the absolute worst. But, after a trip to the doctor and an allergy shot I am good as new. Almost. Amidst the mess of allergies, one of my favorite parts of summer is the abundance of fruit and vegetables. And this salad incorporates so many of them. Blueberries. Peaches. Corn. Raspberries. Avocado. Tomatoes. Spinach. Arugula. THE LIST GOES ON.

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Not only does this salad have so many delicious fruits and veggies, it also features Sous Vide chicken. Oh man, Sous Vide. Don’t even get me started. Ask any of my friends and I’ve probably rambled about Sous Vide to them on multiple occasions.

What is Sous Vide? Well, lets go straight to the source. Anova, a company that makes Sous Vide machines describes it as follows: “Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method.”

Did you read that? Its results are impossible to achieve through any other method. Exaggeration? No. Its true.

If you want to check it out for yourself, be my guest!   https://anovaculinary.com/.

Anyway, sous vide-ed (can you make that a verb?) chicken is delicious. It is cooked perfectly all the way through and is juicy as can be. Also, it is SO simple. Seriously. All you do is put your chicken in an air-tight bag (we vacuum seal it), put it in a pot of water, hook the sous vide on the side of the pot and turn it on. Then once you’re finished cooking the meat you can sear it to give it a delicious finishing touch. Seriously so easy.

 

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Okay now onto the toasted seeds. Can you tell that I just love every aspect of this dish? Because I do. The toasted seeds give the salad the perfect crunch. I used sunflower seeds, pepitas, and also pine nuts.

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Anyway, before I end this post I want to share 3 things that encapsulate summer.

  1. This salad.
  2. This quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
  3. This song by Saint Motel called Puzzle Pieces. Its always been a favorite of mine and just screams summer! Here’s the link. Puzzle Pieces

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SUMMER SALAD

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can of chickpeas (15 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup quinoa (when cooked is about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup pitted fresh cherries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 ears grilled corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 6 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup mixed toasted nuts + seeds (I used pine nuts, sunflower seeds, + pepitas)

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 fresh fig finely chopped (dried fig works too)
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and combine with pesto in a small bowl. Let marinade while you make the rest of the salad.

Cook the quinoa as instructed on package.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Fresh figs work best, but if they’re not in season then dried figs work, just chop them very finely or blend smooth.

In a large bowl combine cherries, blueberries, nectarine, corn, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss together then add the chickpeas that have been marinating in pesto. Then add just over half the sauce. Depending how much sauce you like on your salad you can add more or less. I usually use all of it because the sauce is so delicious!

If you don’t have a sous vide, chicken can be prepared however you like it, or can be omitted completely.

To serve, put fresh spinach on the bottom of your bowl/plate. Top with the salad mixture, sliced avocado, toasted nuts + seeds, and chicken. Then DIVE INTO SUMMER GOODNESS.

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