But this salad? It is pure summer goodness. And my new go-to side dish to accompany homemade pizza. Or to enjoy for lunch with some sliced chicken on top. Yep, it’s nice and versatile. Really, I’ll find any excuse to make it these days.
It all started a ways back when we took a quick trip to North Carolina to find a place to live. We were pretty excited about the upcoming move so we decided to have a celebratory dinner out. Sounds fun right? Well the meal itself turned out to be a bit of a bummer. Except for the appetizers. I had a salad with fruit, pecans and poppy seed dressing – and it was fantastic.
So this beautiful salad right here? This is my at-home recreated version. It has layers of your favorite greens, oh so sweet strawberries and peaches, salty goat cheese, wonderfully crunchy sugared pecans and a lighter poppy seed dressing.
I think we all know what I’m having for lunch today….
- 1 large egg white
- 2 cups raw unsalted pecans
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- mixed greens
- sliced strawberries
- sliced peaches
- crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until it is white and slightly frothy. Add in the pecans and toss until the nuts are coated with the egg white. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt (making sure there are no clumps). Add the sugar mixture to the bowl with the pecans and mix until well combined (and all of the sugar is sticking to the pecans).
- Spread the pecans evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. The nuts should be dry and the coating should not come off on your fingers.
- Add the shallot, mustard powder, salt, sugar, honey and vinegar to the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Process until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Slowly stream in the oil, blending until combined. Add in the poppy seeds and pulse until incorporated.
- In a large bowl, add the desired amount of lettuce, strawberries, peaches, goat cheese and sugared pecans. Toss to combine. Add in the desired amount of dressing and toss again to coat. Serve immediately.