Divisive Election Year Issue: Do you Like Fruit in Your Salad?
In this election year, here’s a divisive issue (although not as polarizing as the flavor of cilantro). Do you like fruit in your salad? My mom was the first person I ever knew to put fresh fruit in her salad. Her classic combination was romaine lettuce with avocados, walnuts and fresh oranges with a simple vinaigrette that incorporated any juice that had escaped the orange when she diced it. It’s still one of my favorite salads.
This year we are seeing a lot of watermelon, stone fruit like peaches and nectarines, and berries, often combined with goat cheese, livening up green salads. My ideal salad often incorporates a fruit, a cheese and a nut or seed, in addition to fresh greens like butter lettuce or arugula, and a light dressing. If you agree, you’ll love this week’s Santa Barbara Salad with apples, dates, pine nuts and goat cheese.
I just returned from an intensive salad seminar for food recipe developers in Carmel Valley, California, hosted by Dole Fresh Salads. During the course, we learned about some of the latest salad trends and tried some truly innovative ways to incorporate healthy greens and vegetables into all our meals and snacks, including arugula in our pineapple mojitos, and my favorite new salad combination, pickled red onions and watercress on fresh watermelon (sounds weird, tastes incredible).
Personally, I find that the contrast of sweet fruit with a slightly bitter lettuce and a salty cheese excites my palate and helps me enjoy a fresh and nutritious salad. I also find that some kids, especially those who seem naturally drawn to sweet flavors, are more likely to tuck into a green salad that includes fresh or dried fruit or one that is dressed with a sweet raspberry vinaigrette.
You also might enjoy this recipe I posted at PBS Parents Kitchen Explorers for Chicken and Nectarine Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing.
Do you like fruit in your salads, and if so, what are your favorite combinations? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.