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Sweet Salad with Balsamic Fig Dressing
Spring at La Vista Farm is a beautiful time of year when the land is green and lush and the produce is bountiful. With the abundance of greens – tender, young and sweet – spring is a perfect time to make this salad.
Crystal, our farmer’s wife, is a natural cook. She instinctively knows just the right combination of ingredients and quantities to make delicious and healthy dishes that satisfy the palate. This salad is one of her favorites and one she frequently makes for our shareholder gatherings.
The U.S. government recommends 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables each day. Pairing greens and fruit together creates a different taste sensation while meeting some of the government’s recommendations.
The ingredients go together easily but the dressing should not be added until you’re ready to serve the salad.
Ingredients for Sweet Salad
- 1/2 pound young greens, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 - 1 apple, sliced thin
- 1/2 - 1 pear, sliced thin
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup walnuts and/or pecans
- optional - dried figs and cranberries*
Ingredients for Balsamic Fig Dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped figs*
- 1 tsp sugar or maple syrup
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl
- Combine dressing ingredients in a deep bowl. Whisk together until well blended.
- Just before serving the salad, pour dressing over the greens and fruit and toss lightly. Garnish with figs and cranberries if desired.
* I couldn’t find figs and substituted dates, which worked fine.
If it will be a while before you serve the salad, hold off on cutting the fruit until just before serving so they don’t brown. You could also dip the cut edges in lemon juice.
Use kitchen shears to cut dried fruit, not a knife. The shears make the job easier. You can snip the pieces as large or small as you need them.
What kinds of apples and pears work best in salads?
Consider your recipe when deciding which kind of apple or pear to use. Some apples are best used in baking or making sauces. These types are generally more tart with a firmer flesh. Granny Smith and Rome are two types of apples that do well in pies. Pears such as Concorde and Bosc do well in heated desserts; most other pears can be added to salads. Pears can be substituted in just about any salad that calls for apples.
Pears and apples are good sources of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Pears provide vitamin K and apples are a good source of vitamin A.
About spring greens
We grow a large variety of spring greens and lettuces at La Vista and their health benefits are many. Some of the greens we grow are lollo rosso, mache (lamb’s lettuce), mizuna, oakleaf lettuce and spinach. Greens are a rich source of iron, vitamins C, A and trace minerals such as magnesium that are important for our overall health.
There are so many benefits of eating this salad, why not try it today!