Monday, June 16, 2014

A MN Picnic

Lake Calhoun
Happy Monday readers!

Did you enjoy our week last week on Honey? Summer is a time for being inspired in the kitchen. The sun is warm,  the farmers market is stocked with fresh produce and our gardens are in full bloom. Danielle and I have been spending a lot of time recently sharing recipes with each other- we felt it was time to do a week dedicated to sharing those recipes with you.

Today in Minneapolis we are having some really rare and beautiful weather. Lately we haven't gone many days without rain and its really nice to see the sun. David and I have been really busy lately (especially David- his family is in the process of selling their beautiful home, it is unbelievable how much work goes into keeping a house "market" ready) focusing our energy on work and household chores- we decided to take a day off and plan a picnic. We love to cook together and we thought there's no better way to eat than dining al fresco around one of the ten thousand lakes we have here in Minnesota. So we are dusting off the ol' picnic basket and packing up our outdoor favorites.


When I had mentioned to David we should spend a day outside enjoying the weather- the first thing that popped into his head was fruit salad. There really isn't anything better than a great vibrant fruit salad on a hot day. I do love fruit but I sometimes feel the concept of finding a bunch of fruit, cutting it up and mixing it together becomes a bit tired. I wanted to create a dish with a bit more interest, depth and purpose.

This past week I was doing a bit of a food cleanse. I completely cut out refined grains, meats and dairy products. The only foods I did allow myself were fruits, vegetables and sprouted grains. I made an incredible salad last week with fresh watermelon, avocado and a citrus vinaigrette. It gave me the idea for the salad I will be making today but I thought I would share my recipe from last week so you can enjoy it and take inspiration for your summer fruit salads.

Watermelon & Avocado Salad

- 1/4 watermelon cut into chunks
- 1 ripe Avocado
- 2 green onions
- 1/2 C.  Micro greens or sprouts

Dressing:

- 1/2 C. olive oil
- 1/4 C. rice vinegar ( I really love using rice or white wine vinegars for vinaigrettes but any sweeter vinegar will do)
- 1 lime juiced and grated for zest
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- small handful of mint chopped
- small handful of basil chopped
- salt and pepper to taste

I added shrimp for a little protein but keeping it vegetarian works as well.

Directions:

I like to keep my dressing thicker so I make mine in the food processor adding everything but the oil together and pulsing until combine. Once you have that base slowly add your oil and the dressing will combine to create a thicker emulsion. This dressing will also work as a loose vinaigrette and you can just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Mix watermelon, onions, and avocado together in a bowl. Add most of the vinaigrette (save some to dress the mixed greens or sprouts) and plate. Then dress your mixed greens and use as a garnish. I like to do these separate because the avocado coats whatever you are mixing it with and sometimes makes the greens wilt faster.

This salad is super refreshing and actually really filling. I just served it with a piece of garlic toast I made from the sprouted ezekiel bread and it made a really nice refreshing supper. We will have a lot more recipes coming this week and I will be doing a special interview with some of the kitchen staff at Meritage on Wednesday. Danielle will be posting a favorite recipe of hers tomorrow so we hope to see you back this week!

Laura

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