OK people. It’s days like today where we are hiding inside from to 100 degree weather that I wonder why we don’t live somewhere like San Diego…. I hate to be hot. I hate to freeze to death in the dead of winder. The only problem is, I love experiencing all four seasons. There is something very renewing and fresh about knowing the weather won’t last long in its current state. Utah is a funny place to live because it likes to test your ability to stand the heat and the cold. It swelters you long enough for you to begin to hate summer, then it changes on a dime to the most beautiful and pleasant fall weather imaginable. Then in a flash it is gone and winter has begun. Winter lasts and threatens your very wits by the time January draws near, then just when you think you can’t stand it anymore and have just about packed your belonging to migrate to sunny weather, it switches to wet lovely spring. It is so funny. It is one of the reasons I love it here. Of course I dream of the fantastical idea of relocating my entire family (grandparents and cousins included) to somewhere dreamy on the coast. It’ll never happen. Somehow the mountains, canyons and desert-like weather have hooked me. I don’t think I would love living somewhere as much as I do here. I just want to be able to take vacations during those torturous winter and summer weeks. 🙂
Since those boiling hot summer weeks are closing in, I am reverting to a significantly smaller amount of baking. It’s too dang hot! In the summer I crave salads. My husband and I were saying the other night that maybe we should only make salads for dinner. He even said, “who needs to eat something heavy before bed anyway?” Who is this man? His ideals must be shifting. Wowza.
In lou of these new plans for salad-y dinners, I whipped up a salad that has changed my view leafy greens altogether. It was incredibly delicious. It was different, and gave a hearty punch of flavor that tasted just like summer.
I will be making this new delicacy again soon. I found an interesting poppy seed dressing recipe from Sauveur that tempted me to try it right after reading that they toasted the seeds first. I have never thought of doing that, and it turned out so great. This is definitely going on my regulars list for home made dressings. YUM!
I also ran onto a fabulous recipe for Cinnamon Maple Candied Almonds on Foodie With Family’s blog. I thought I would give it a try as well. They sounded all too good to pass by.
All I needed was to dice up my summer fruit from my Winder Farms Produce Box and tear my red leaf lettuce. It was easy, kept my kitchen under 100 degrees and hit the spot! I did however, serve this salad with some banana chocolate chip muffins I had baked earlier in the day which has convinced me of the fact that it is just too hot to bake. I won’t be doing that again for a bit. (Read: Until I can’t live without home baked cookies.) I highly recommend this Summer Fruit Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing. Your tummy will thank you. 🙂
For the Poppy Seed Dressing I minced up my small yellow onion and set it aside.
Toasted my poppy seeds for a quick three minutes, until the seeds became aromatic and slightly browned. (Stir constantly.)
Then you add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Onion, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, dry mustard powder and black pepper. Stir it over medium-high heat until it simmers and the sugar melts.
Next remove the ingredients from the pot and pour into a blender. Bend well, then add canola oil and olive oil. Blend again until very smooth!
Once it is well blended, remove from blender and put in refrigerator to chill. Give it a little taste so you know the goodness you are in for! Mmmm.
Next I prepared my candied almonds. In the original recipe it makes a big batch of whole roasted almonds. (You know the ones they sell in shopping malls at christmas time?) That is not quite what I was going for, so I sized down the recipe and used slivered and sliced almonds. I also added a touch of nutmeg. Just because I like it. 🙂
First preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Then whip up an egg white. Because I was making my recipe much smaller than the original, I only used 1/2 of an egg white. Beat it up first until it is super frothy and remove half of the egg white.
Toss in your almonds and toss well in the egg whites.
Add in the maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Toss well again until the almonds are evenly coated!
Spray your pan a little with cooking spray and lay out almonds in a single layer. Put baking sheet in oven at 300 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes or until almonds are getting slightly browned and the coating is almost dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from tray.
Next we chop up our juicy summer fruit! My oh my the colors were so delicious… My husband and I were amazed at how good the plums were. I tend to forget about plums and they just might be one of the yummiest fruits out there!
Wash and let lettuce dry. Then tear into bite sized pieces and place in a salad bowl. Top lettuce with fruit pieces, candied almonds, pistachios and poppy seed dressing! I wish I had this for dinner every night this week. Yes people, it was that good… I wish soup and salad joints would make something like this. I would haunt that place like a ghost. 🙂
This salad is one to remember. I am amazed at how quick it was to throw together on a whim! If you are looking for a summer crowd pleaser I would say this meets the mark. So party on people, and get your salad on! Happy 100 degrees to you all. 🙂 And if you are out there enjoying 75 degree weather, I hate you! No, just kidding, I just envy your climate during the month of July. Sigh.
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