Tantalizing Spring Greens, Ham, and Peaches Salad
There is a reason we talk about fruits and vegetables in the same sentence. They go together very well. Even when we are unable to get fresh fruit and vegetables from our own gardens, they are available from the produce section, thanks to the wonderful ships and trucks that get the produce out to the docks for pickup and delivery. Iceberg lettuce is nearly always available in a pinch, but the different flavors of various lettuce varieties add a nice touch to the salads we love to prepare and eat.
When meats, fruits, and vegetables combine in a salad, vinaigrette dressing makes a great match. There are quite a few recipes on the internet and one of the best things is that you can make it in a small batch in a glass jar with a lid. Use the extra within the next few days. Most of the recipes are uncomplicated and a lot of fun to try, especially lemon and raspberry. You can even get exotic with pomegranate-pecan vinaigrette.
Quick and easy salads are wonderful ways to make sure your family has the nutrition needed to get through the day. Salads are always happy meals and easy to adjust if there are features one or more of the crowd does not care for or is allergic to. At times when there is just one item of a certain fruit remaining, create a salad with it. Slice one peach in half with a scoop of cottage cheese placed in each half, garnished by a sprig of parsley or mint. A quick lunch or snack created in seconds and devoured just as quickly.
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 12 to 16 raspberries, washed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 16 slices cooked ham, about the size of bacon strips
- ¼ cup blue vein cheese, crumbled
- Spring Mix salad greens (choose your favorites)
- 4 Freestone peaches, unpeeled
- 4 tablespoons celery, sliced thin
- Vinaigrette dressing
- Put the salt, pepper, vinegar, and mustard in a 10 to 12 ounce jar.
- Put the lid on and shake to blend.
- Put in half the oil and the raspberries, close the lid, and shake again.
- Add the remaining ingredients, tighten the lid, and shake for one minute.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill at least one hour.
- Rinse and trim the salad greens. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and spread the greens across the towels to dry. Spread the greens around four salad plates.
- Trim the fat off the ham if desired. Place a slice on each side of the greens.
- Rinse the peaches and pat dry. Slice each peach in half and discard the pit. Cut in half, then half again (8 slices from each peach). Drape 8 slices around and over the greens.
- Sprinkle celery over each salad.
- Put some of the crumbled blue cheese over each salad.
- Add the vinaigrette dressing and serve.
The addition of crumbled blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing creates a surprisingly delicious arrangement of greens, peaches, and ham combined into a salad. Perfect for any time of year, this salad is easy to change by adding slices of apple instead of peaches and using a different vinaigrette dressing. If you do not have ham, cut 8 slices of bacon in half and fry them crisp, using a heavy press such as a lid to keep the pieces flat.
It is salad season year round and when fresh fruits and vegetables are available, the day just gets better. This delightful salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and will quickly become a favorite of all those in the family. The mixed greens, crispy and decorative, make a very welcoming start to the meal or serve as the meal itself, depending on hunger. Peach slices adorn the edges of the square salad plate, which adds to the entire theme. A vertical slice of ham creates just a bit more elegance. Blue cheese crumbles and vinaigrette dressing are the perfect conclusion.
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