Lazy summer days in the South are for eating light and this Grilled Apricot and Herb Salad keys on the freshest fruit and garden herbs you can source in a tasty (and healthy) combination. Time to slow down and enjoy life.
Life is moving fast–too fast. It’s June already and it seems that May just whizzed right by. No time to stop and smell the rosemary. So, I declared to Roxanne that the weekend would be lazy afternoons by the pool.
The apricots are plump and juicy at Fresh Pickin’s market, so I loaded up and on the drive home I began thinking of a cool, light salad for an early evening outdoors. As summer approaches, salads are a welcome relief from the increasing heat and a break from heavier food we tend to overindulge in. I enjoy combining leafy greens and herbs with fruit, especially grilled apricots.
Grilling apricots–peaches, too–are one of my favorite dishes. This Grilled Apricot and Herb Salad features many ingredients from my backyard herb garden. Fresh basil and mint along with mixed greens of arugula and radicchio elevate this salad. Adding pistachios, fresh spring onions and broccoli sprouts provide delicate nuances of flavor.
I’ve squeezed fresh Meyer lemons for a vinaigrette sweetened with Le Grand Miel honey with a heavy hint of wildflowers. A sprinkle of lavender buds and this salad is ready for a light poolside dinner with wine and conversation.
As a great philosopher once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Okay, so it was Ferris Bueller. But, wise words just the same.
Enjoy your lazy days.
- 12 ripe apricots, halved and seed removed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup thinly sliced spring onion
- 1 cucumber, peeled and shaved into ribbons
- 1 cup broccoli sprouts
- 1 bunch of asparagus tips, blanched
- 1 cup yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup pistachios, shelled and husks removed
- 1 tablespoon lavender buds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Brush the apricot halves with olive oil and place on a wire rack, cut-side down. Grill the apricots on the open flame of a gas grill until they just start to soften and blacken. Remove from the grill and keep at room temperature.
- On a large platter, arrange the mixed greens, various herbs, onions and sprouts. Add the grilled apricots, distributing them evenly among the greens. Layer the asparagus tips and tomatoes evenly throughout, and sprinkle the pistachios and lavender over all. Refrigerate the platter until serving.
- In a mixing bowl, add the mustard and lemon juice along with the honey. Whisk while slowly drizzling the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and a grind of black pepper and refrigerate.
- For serving, remove the salad platter from the refrigerator and drizzle a few tablespoons of the dressing lightly over, and serve any remaining on the side.
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