Every year, it seems our garden has a superstar. You know, that one “stand out” performer that is most prolific.
Last year, our cucumbers did really well. I was able to make Refrigerator Pickles many, many times last summer. This year, I was out of cucumbers before I could even get to a fourth batch. I seriously thought about buying pickling cukes at the market just to get one last batch in, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it!
Some years, it’s been the tomatoes that have been most abundant, providing me with plenty of fruits for Bruschetta, Super Savory Summer Salsa, and Marinated Tomatoes with Basil. There was also usually tomato harvest leftover to giveaway and go into our freezer. This year though, our tomatoes got a late start and haven’t been nearly as abundant. We are canning some of the tomatoes this year – since we’re out of freezer space – and only hope we are able to preserve enough of a supply to make it through the winter for inclusion in our Love Soup.
So, pickles and tomatoes are singing backup this summer. This year, the star of the show is the Raspberry.
My Raspberry bushes produced a bit several weeks ago and I enjoyed them for a few days atop my Granola, and even froze a small bag or two. Then they were gone. But they are having a second wind and are back with a vengance so I am out in the garden every single day picking a pint of the sweet red berries. Raspberries happen to be my favorite fruit, but I can only eat so many of them! So, it’s time to get creative so I can include them in more meals than just my breakfast!
Today, I made this dressing, and drizzled it atop a perfect salad for lunch. I’m thinking about having the same meal for dinner. It’s that good.
For the dressing, you’ll need:
1/2 cup fresh Raspberries, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Canola Oil
Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Cold Water, if needed
Poppy Seeds (Optional – I didn’t use this time but they would be a great addition)
What to do:
Place Honey, Dijon, Vinegar, and a couple grinder turns each of salt and pepper into a Blender or the bowl of a Food Processor.
Now, add Canola Oil.
Pulse a few times, then add Raspberries.
Blend until smooth and creamy,
and pour into serving jar.
If you wish to add Poppy Seeds, do so after pouring the dressing into your jar and just shake the jar to combine. Likewise, if the dressing is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time, then shake until it reaches the desired consistency.
Now, let’s build the beautiful salad that will wear this dressing!
Mixed Salad Greens (I used Romaine Lettuce tossed with Assorted Baby Greens)
Pecans or Walnuts (I wanted to use Walnuts, but found I was plum out so I used Pecans instead)
Fresh Rasberries, rinsed and drained
Red Onion, thinly sliced
What to do:
First, we need to toast the nuts.
Place nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Cook stirring and tossing occasionally, just until the nuts start to release their fragrance. Now, remove from heat and cool.
While the nuts are cooling, find a pretty plate.
This one happens to be a hand-painted plate from my mother-in-law’s Aunt who passed away several years ago. It seemed well-suited to this salad, so I took it off of it’s dusty shelf. Don’t worry, I did wash the dust off!
Start with your greens, then add Onion, Nuts, Raspberries and Feta Cheese.
Top with a couple grinds of fresh black pepper and drizzle with the dressing.
Wouldn’t this be a pretty salad for a baby shower luncheon - especially if it’s a girl - or at a wedding shower? It’s both delicate and flavorful, and topped with a sliced, grilled chicken breast it would make a good main dish. You could even marinate the chicken in the dressing for added flavor.
I just love the combination of sweet/sour dressing, salty feta and crunchy nuts in this salad. I’m sure I’ll be making this often, at least until my raspberry crop runs out. After that, I suppose I can still use my frozen berries for the dressing, and just leave the fresh fruit off the salad as we go into the winter months.
I can’t believe I’m even talking about the winter months. Is it really September? I refuse to believe it.