Salad with Goat Cheese, Persimmons or Pears and Mustard/Garlic Vinaigrette

salad with persimmons, endive and greens

Persimmon and Endive Salad–salad with persimmons, endive and greens

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Salads are a big part of our diet, especially in summer. We have them at the end of almost every dinner, with many types of  dressings; (my parents and grandparents who lived with us were European, and this was what we did–I still do as I find it is a great savory way to end a meal–plus no big need for a heavy dessert). One dressing I made recently is a variation of classic vinaigrette. This dressing makes enough for a large salad to serve 3-4 (or 2 major salad lovers).

We like the taste contrast of fruit and a bitter green, such as endive and arugula, with this tangy, mustard/garlic dressing. This salad can be a main dish if you add grilled chicken (leftover from your barbecue) or really good topped with grilled or roasted salmon.

Amounts aren’t exact- use your own taste as a guide; for example, not everyone likes as much garlic as we do.
SALAD WITH PEARS/PERSIMMONS AND GOAT CHEESE
INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 to 3/4 head of red butter lettuce; washed, spun and torn
  • 1/3 cup of endive, arugula, and/or frisée (you can substitute any local greens you have but we like this combo)
  • 1 small pear, and/or fuyu persimmon,sliced thin (depending what’s in season)
  • 1 avocado sliced into approx. 1/2 ” cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • Shred goat cheese such as goat Gouda ( any type) or Midnight Moon* on top
  • 2-3 tsps Chopped toasted pecans or sliced almonds (optional)

(Tip from caterers: add dressing to lettuces and toss, then spread other ingredients on top so that they don’t all fall to the bottom before serving.)

* a semi-hard goat cheese made in Holland, from Cypress Grove Creamery, www.cypressgrovechevre.com.

DELISH MUSTARD/GARLIC VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (just a small amount adds a subtle nutty flavor)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup white wine vinegar; to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed garlic; 3 cloves crushed *
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or Mendocino mustard**
  •  Salt-free spice like Mrs. Dash’s; Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients (or shake in a jar)
* Cook’s Illustrated Magazine tip for crushing small amounts of garlic:
Smash heads with flat of a chefs knife to peel, cut off ends; rub the peeled heads between the upside down tines of a fork; then crush the larger pieces with the fork to yield crushed garlic.
**http://www.mendocinomustard.com
Enjoy!
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