Maybe this was a good thing, as I decided to throw together my own ingredients with a balsamic vinaigrette. Most importantly, I concluded that strawberry season isn't quite upon us, but I found some plump apricots at the market, as well as some dried Bing cherries in my pantry that inspired me to take this in a different direction.
On the surface, my husband, Martin, loves the idea of a salad. He likes to eat healthily as long as it doesn't include green stuff. If he read all the ingredients below, he'd smile upon each one, until he reached the greens. "Easy on the arugula for me, luv" is normally what he says as I'm piling each salad plate high with a bed of baby greens. He proceeds to eat only "the best bits" as he calls them. Never mind.
Apricot and Speck Salad with Dried Bing Cherries & Pistachios
2 apricots, quartered
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella cheese, torn into eight pieces
6 slices of speck
1/4 cup of dried Bing cherries
1/4 cup of raw pistachios, unsalted
2 handfuls of arugula (or rocket in the UK)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Pile plates high with salad leaves and roughly arrange ingredients on top to cover the greens. Combine the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake well. Drizzle dressing and serve. I like to serve this on it's own with some crusty bread, especially if I've indulged in too much bread and cheese over a glass of wine before dinner time. It also works as a side dish to accompany pasta with a vegetarian or creamy sauce for a larger crowd. In that case, I take a large platter and serve it in the middle so everyone can help themselves.