Monday, August 31, 2015

Fresh Fruit, Walnut and Arugula Salad with Spicy Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette

Summertime is salad season around our household. We love the delicious varieties of fresh fruit that are available. I love to include apricots, as they have been a favorite since childhood when my grandmother introduced me to them. I love to stuff them with goat cheese and roast them to include in our salads.

Another way I elevate the flavors in my salads is by including several products from Honey Ridge Farms. This salad recipe includes both their Clover Honey Crème and Balsamic Honey Vinegar. They provide the perfect kiss of sweetness.

Since we are in an area of the country where it gets very hot and humid during the summer months, I like to prepare my salads early in the morning when it is cool and place them in the refrigerator until dinner time. Ball One Quart Wide Mouth Jars are great vessels to use to store your salads in until you are ready to use them. They will keep your salads fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I store my vinaigrette separately in a small jar with a lid.
I think you will enjoy this salad, especially the sweet and spicy combination of flavors on the walnuts and in the vinaigrette.

Fresh Fruit, Walnut and Arugula Salad with Spicy Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette
by Linda

4 apricots
2 cups strawberries
1 cup blueberries
2-3 cups of arugula
4 Tablespoons of creamy goat cheese
1 cup walnut halves
2 teaspoons Honey Ridge Farms Clover Honey Crème
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Spicy Seasoning)

1) Wash all fruit and thoroughly pat dry with paper towel.
2) Wash arugula and pat dry between two paper towels. Make sure it's completely dry.
3) Cut apricots in half and remove pits.
4) Place 1 Tablespoon of goat cheese on each apricot half, then top with one blueberry.
5) Place goat cheese stuffed apricots under broiler on high heat for 4-5 minutes, until cheese bubbles and is slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
6) In a bowl, toss walnuts with 2 teaspoons Honey Ridge Farms Clover Honey Crème and 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
7) Place on foil lined cookie sheet. Bake in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
8) Cut strawberries in half.
9) Layer ingredients between 2 one-quart ball jars. Start with a hand full of arugula in each jar, divide strawberries between two jars, add another hand full of arugula in each, divide blueberries between two jars, divide walnuts between two jars and then last nestle two of the stuffed apricots on top or each jar.
10) Add lids and place in refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup Honey Ridge Farms Balsamic Honey Vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon* Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Spicy Seasoning)
1 clove of garlic, mashed into a paste

Combine all the ingredients in a jar with lid, shake well. Refrigerate until ready to use. (*if you like spicy, you should use the full teaspoon of Cajun seasoning).

To serve salads:
Remove apricots from jar and place on serving plate. Empty the rest of the salad on serving plate and lightly toss. Vigorously shake jar of vinaigrette, then drizzle a generous amount on salad.

Each jar is one large dinner-sized serving, or two small side salads/servings.

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