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June 28, 2010

Summer Peach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Thanks to a warm, wet June, farm stands are overflowing with strawberries and early summer vegetables. It’s all I can do to keep up with the lettuce in my weekly CSA bag. This light, colorful salad couldn’t be easier to throw together, and it’s bursting with summer flavor. It makes a perfect picnic side dish, but it’s also hearty enough for a meal–nuts and seeds are dense sources of protein and healthy fats.

You’ll have to wait a month to find Maine-grown peaches, but you can purée and freeze local strawberries now. You’ll need ¼ cup of puréed strawberries for 3-4 servings of vinaigrette.

Summer Peach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Delicate salad greens (try Boston, Bibb, or red leaf lettuce)
Peaches (1 for every two servings), thinly sliced
Walnut or pecan halves
Unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
¼ cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or granulated sugar)

Place lettuce in serving bowls and top with peaches, nuts, and sunflower seeds. Prepare the strawberry vinaigrette: place strawberries, oil, vinegar, and agave (or sugar) in blender and purée. Drizzle over salad.

Yield: ½ cup dressing, enough for 3-4 servings.

Mary Lake is a writer, teacher, columnist for MF&L, and vegetarian blogger: Mitten Machen.

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