Photo by Judith Hausman
Cherries and blueberries make refreshing additions to this summer salad.
Red, white and blue desserts were everywhere for Fourth of July: strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream — what’s not to like? Still, strawberries are about done in the Hudson Valley (it wasn’t the best year for them), blueberries aren’t yet ripe and our cherry season is so brief, you’d miss it if you blinked.
Red Bliss, “white,” and Adirondack blue potatoes could make a patriotic salad for the picnic table, but I remembered the delicious, now-classic strawberry spinach salad I had eaten and decided to go in that direction instead.
I swapped in pitted sour cherries, added crescents of mild, crunchy fennel for the white and relied on blueberries for the blue. I added a bed of frilly and speckled lettuces. A barely-sweet, tart lemon dressing added acid to balance the sweet. I plated the salads and topped each serving with a snow-white slice of fresh goat cheese, but you could crumble some chevre on top of a bowlful of the mix instead. I sprinkled on a handful of pine nuts (or use slivered almonds) to make the holiday-inspired salad even more special.
This summer salad will be fine company for burgers and dogs. If you have a more ambitious barbeque planned for summer, such as a whole fish or butterflied leg of lamb, so much the better.
To make the dressing, whisk together the first five ingredients. Put both berries, the fennel and the lettuce in a large bowl. Dress and toss the salad; season with salt and pepper. Then divide it into six plated servings, and top each with a slice of goat cheese. Garnish with the nuts if using.