Sweet Summer Salad

This is the start of restaurant week in New York city. It’s a great opportunity to explore the diverse offering of international cuisines and to meet up with friends I haven’t seen for a while. By the way, it’s also the best buy in town. R and I went to The Dutch in Soho. We had ceviche, fresh peas and the most memorable summer salad, served with mustard greens, nectarine, goat cheese, chicken as the main course. We thoroughly cleaned up the plate, every last scrap of the greens, stone fruits and every drop of the salad dressing. Somehow, we didn’t finish the chicken. (Everyone around us was ordering the fried chicken, the signature dish of the restaurant.) We peppered the waitress with so many questions and she was patient and helpful enough to go back to the kitchen to get us the answers. These are the tips as we can gather: the freshest greens daily from the Union Square market and the secret dressing.

I could never get enough of a glorious summer salad like this. The very next day, I set out to replicate its delicious goodness in my kitchen and to take advantage of the bountiful stone fruits and greens available locally. I also get some help from this recipe I found on Ottolenghi’s website.

I adapted the recipe guided by the summer salad that had inspired me. I think I got it. Here is the jest with the dressing: slow roast one beet for two hours until soft. Put beet, garlic clove, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth. Since I used one candy beet, instead of a red beet, my dressing turned orange, the color of that of a thousand island dressing, not red. The red color would’ve been bright and cheerful looking. The beet dressing has the depth of flavor like no other. It’s so delicious that I’d drink the whole thing.

I could not stop eating this salad. I substituted goat cheese for gorgonzola, so that the fruity sunny flavor of nectarines, as well as the greens, would shine. Used two kinds of green: arugula and endive. The lightly roasted chopped almonds in butter are a welcoming play in texture. This salad is so refreshing and tantalizing; I’m thinking of making another one in short order.

It’s potluck week at IHCC. I’m also linking this post to Souper Sundays and joining the other seasonal soups and salads at Kahakai Kitchen in Hawaii. There will be plenty of ideas for a feast of light summer dishes. Please take a look.

Salad with arugula, endive, nectarines, goat cheese, chopped almonds and beet dressing.


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  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    July 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    What a gorgeous salad–it totally makes my mouth water just looking at it. Great that you could find an Ottolenghi salad to adapt to the salad you loved. I think the goat cheese substitution is spot on too!

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. 😉

  • Reply
    July 30, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Refreshing, that's the statement this salad makes. Nice combo of favors.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I am envious of restaurant week in NYC. I would love to be in NYC and take that in!

    I am intrigued by the use of beet in a dressing. That is so fun and unique! Makes you really want to get creative with ingredients for dressings. So glad that you were able to create a version of this delicious salad at home. This way you will be able to enjoy the flavors at your convenience. Such a pretty salad. Would love to reach thru the screen and take a bite!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I'd like to try this recipe with "striped" or yellow beets. They taste more subtle then "normal" beetroots. I hope I find some ripe and tasty nectarines.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I think any ripe stone fruits would do: apricot, plum or peaches would do. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I was intrigued and in doubt about the use of beet. But after what the waitress told us that fruits are used in the dressing, I was ready to use beet. It was wonderful.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    August 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Looking at your salad and the way you describe them, I wish that I had a plate to enjoy right this minute! Looks wonderful and you have done a great job of recreating the dressing and the salad!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Beautiful colorful salad. Looks wonderful

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