When life gives you apricots, you figure out what to do with them!
Recently a friend and neighbor of mine asked me to look after her plants while she was away. The one that she was most concerned about was her apricot tree. It was in the middle of ripening for it’s season, and she didn’t want the apricots to go to waste. They would have ripened and fallen to the ground for the wildlife to consume, and it saddened her that they could potentially go to waste!
Luckily for her, I, too have a green thumb, and a garden that definitely suffers when I’m away from home. Of course I obliged her. I’d take care of her garden in exchange for perfectly ripe and delicious fruit? OK!
I picked quite a bit of apricots, needless to say. They went into oatmeal, some got frozen, and many made it into our green smoothies. What else to do with them though? When I’m at a loss for recipe inspiration, I always check out my Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page. It lists all the things that go with a particular item, so if you look up apricots, you’ll find a whole slew of ingredients that pair the best with them. In this case it was cherries and almonds.
I still wanted to keep things light, so I gravitated towards a salad – especially because I have these beautiful bottles of exquisite olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Temecula Olive Oil Farm. (You can also visit the farm) When you have a chance to buy local olive oil made with locally grown olives, do it. Is it pricey? A bit. Is it worth it? Yes! If you don’t have a disposable income, I suggest using this just for salad dressings where the flavors aren’t masked so much. They really do make a world of difference from the run-of-the-mill grocery store products. You’ll be hard pressed to realize that the resultant dressing really is just olive oil and vinegar. I do throw in some salt, pepper, and a little mustard to help with the emulsification, but still.
In the spirit of summer, this salad is perfect. It’s large enough to have as a main for lunch, and has enough fiber and fat to fill you up. All the good fats, and we could all use more fiber in our diets. Get those greens in, it will do your body right. Combine that with seasonal produce, and I’d call that winning at life.Summer Lovin’,
Apricot Cherry Salad
A perfectly paired summer salad that satisfies, and is full of essential nutrients, fueling your summer body!
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Get a good one!
- 1 Teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper Freshly cracked
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Get the good stuff!
- 12 Cups Romaine Lettuce Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Cherries Fresh, Pitted & Halved
- 1 1/2 Cups Apricots Fresh, Pitted & Quartered
- 1 Cup Almonds Raw, Roughly chopped
- 1 Avocado Cubed
In a very large bowl, add in the balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Measure out the olive oil, and slowly drizzle into the vinegar mixture while whisking vigorously.
Add in all the lettuce, and toss until well coated. Divide among 4 bowls.
Top the lettuce with the cherries, apricots, avocado and almonds, and serve immediately.