Endless Summer Salad

Unfortunately, we can’t always be eating porchetta, gnocchi, and chocolate tarts.

Every now and then we need to throw something healthy in the mix that doesn’t take all day. This is what we served last week with our prime rib and it was damn tasty.

With fall produce just around the corner, this is the best way to make use of the last of these summer ingredients.

Want to make a simple salad that’s packed full of flavor?

Continue reading for tips on how to make an epic and simple summer salad.

Endless Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf artisan black olive bread
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pint persian cucumbers
  • 1 lb. green and yellow wax beans
  • 1 pint sugar snap peas
  • 1 pint red pearl onions
  • 2 heads frisee lettuce
  • 2 ea. avocado
  • 5 oz. goat milk feta cheese
  • dijon mustard
  • honey
  • moscato vinegar
  • grapeseed oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sherry vinegar

Instructions

  1. Step 1: Make the moscato vinaigrette
  2. Step 2: Make the oilive oil croutons
  3. Step 3: Blanch the wax beans
  4. Step 4: Glaze the pearl onions
  5. Step 5: Prep the final ingredients
  6. Step 6: Finish the salad
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Endless Summer Salad Step 1: | Make The Moscato Vinaigrette

Making a perfect salad really is its own art form. Probably one of my favorite things to make, most people really have no clue of the work that goes into constructing a well balanced plate of greens.

Too much dressing and it turns soggy and unapetizing. Too little dressing and not enough seasoning and it gets bland.

We like to think of making a salad the same way you toss a bowl of pasta… with love and execution. Each green should coated with dressing like a tortellini in butter.

This vinaigrette is killer and has the right balance of sweetness and acidity.

To start, measure out all ingredients separately.

measured vinaigrette ingredients

Next, using a stick blender, blend the mustard, vinegar, and honey until full incorporated.

adding honey and mustard

blending honey, mustard, and vinegar

Very slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil while the stick blender is running.

slowly drizzling in the grapeseed oil slowly

Blend until all of the grapeseed oil has emulsified, and the vinaigrette starts to slightly thicken.

blending in all of the grapessed oil and slightly thickening

Season with salt and cracked black pepper.

seasoning with salt and pepper

Pour into a squeeze bottle and chill until ready to plate.

moscato vinaigrette in a squeeze bottle

Moscato Vinaigrette Recipe:

3 tbs. (Maille) dijon mustard

1 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup moscato vinegar

1 tbs. honey

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Endless Summer Salad Step 2: | Make The Olive Oil Croutons

The key to making good croutons is using good bread, plain and simple.

If you use shi**y bread…you get shi**y croutons.

We get a nice artisan olive loaf from an amazing baker here in San Diego called  Bread and Cie. Hands down the best bread in the city.

bread and cie artisan loaf

To start, slice the loaf into 3/4 inch thick slices.

slicing into 3/4 inch slices

Next, stack the slices, and slice them horizontally the same thickness.

stacking the slices

Spin them 90 degrees, and cut them into uniform cubes.

cutting into uniform cubes

In a bowl, pour enough extra virgin olive oil to coat each crouton until it’s almost fully saturated, and season liberally with salt and pepper.

pouring oil over olive oil croutons

Spread evenly on a sheet pan and toast in a 350° F oven for 15-20 minutes. Remember to stir the croutons every 5 minutes so they are golden brown all over.

toasting croutons in a 350 degree oven

Cool and keep at room temperature until you are ready to plate.

finished olive oil croutons

Endless Summer Salad Step 3: | Blanch The Wax Beans

Trim the stems from the bottom of the wax beans.

wax beans

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt liberally. Boil the wax beans for 2-3 minutes until tender but still crunchy and place them into a bowl of salted ice water.

boiling the wax beans and ice water

Once they are fully cooled, cut them in half and refrigerate until ready to plate.

halved wax beans

Note: The water should be as salty as the ocean. Throughout this process, take out a wax bean and sample it. It’s important they are cooked, but still have some snappiness to them.

Endless Summer Salad Step 4: | Glaze the Pearl Onions

Start by heating a large flat sided saute pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the extra virgin olive oil and the pearl onions. Do not shake the pan at first as we want them to get get fairly caramelized.

browning the pearl onions

After browning the onions all over, remove from the heat and add the honey and sherry vinegar.

adding the honey

adding the sherry vinegar

The honey and vinegar mixture will start to thicken slightly. At this point, add the butter off the heat, and swirl until fully incorporated.

adding the butter

Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small sheet pan. Pour the glaze all over the onions.

transferred pearl onions on a smal sheet pan

Glazed Pearl Onions Recipe:

1 pint red pearl onions

1 tbs. honey

1 tbs. sherry vinegar

1 tbs. butter

salt and pepper to taste

Endless Summer Salad Step 5: | Prep The Final Ingredients.

To start, slice the Persian cucumbers into small coins and cut the sugar snap peas in half.

persian cucumbers and sugar snap peas

cucumber coins and halved sugar snap peas

Slice the heirloom cherry tomatoes in half.

heirloom cherry tomatoes

Wash and trim the dark green ends of the frisee lettuce, and place in ice cold water.

frisee lettuce

frisee lettuce in ice water

Spin until dry.

spinning the frisee lettuce

Endless Summer Salad Step 6: | Finish The Salad

The most important thing to remember when you are ready to plate this salad is making sure that all of these ingredients (except the glazed onions) are dry.

If they are coated in water then the vinaigrette will not be able to stick to the ingredients and will be left in the bottom of the bowl.

To start, place the tomatoes, sugar snap peas, wax beans, glazed pearl onions, and cucumbers in a bowl.

placing the tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, wax beans, and glazed pearl onions into a bowl

Next, add the frisee, dress the mixture with the vinaigrette, season well with salt and cracked pepper, and lightly toss.

adding the frisee lettuce, vinaigrette, and seasoning

Make sure to taste the mixture at this point for seasoning.

To finish, plate the salad, and garnish with the crumbled goat milk feta, olive oil croutons, and avocado balls. ( We use a melon baller for the avocado.)

 

Conclusion

Remembering these tips and tricks will definitely set this epic salad apart from your standard mixed greens with hidden valley ranch.

Always make sure to buy organic produce because it’s healthier and simply tastes better.

Always plate a cold salad on a cold plate.

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