Posts Tagged ‘raspberries’

Summer Raspberry & Ham Salad

raspberry saladDuring the warmer months, salads are not only healthy, but also deliciously refreshing. If you allow yourself to be inspired by nature and use fresh ingredients you will see that the variations in taste, color and texture are as big as your imagination. Served with bread and paired with a good wine, they make the perfect light meal.  Pure, fresh and bursting with vitamins!
This salad is truly summer on a plate. The delicate flavor of the baby greens combined with the sweetness of the dressing form the ideal base for the rest of the ingredients: fragrant, crunchy walnuts, crusty bread topped with a creamy layer of grilled goat’s cheese, paper-thin slices of raw ham and as a finishing touch, sunny raspberries.
The salad makes a wonderful, light lunch for two, but you can also offer it as an elegant starter for four.  If you serve the salad as a starter to a barbecue, follow it with a grilled leg of lamb and round off the meal with a creamy dessert such a  crème brulée dusted with a touch of lavender sugar.

Summer Raspberry & Ham Salad
For 2 people (or 4, as a starter)

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsps walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsps honey
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 slices pain de campagne
  • 4 petits chèvre doux (soft goat’s cheese)
  • 100g mixed baby leaves
  • 100g fresh raspberries
  • 6 slices raw ham (approximately 60g)

Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl until they emulsify.  Roast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until they release their delicious aroma.  This usually takes 2-3 minutes. Spread the goat’s cheese on the slices of bread and place them under a hot grill until the cheese begins to bubble and brown in some places. Place the baby leaves in the bowl with the dressing and toss until each leaf is coated with dressing.  Divide the salad among two plates and sprinkle with the walnuts.  Top with the fresh raspberries and the ham.  Cut each warm slice of bread in half and lay both halves on top of the salad.  Serve immediately, preferably with a lively, aromatic Sancerre.

Muffins with Raspberries & White Chocolate

5929702534_72c09e2363_oYesterday afternoon, we officially celebrated the arrival of spring with our first outdoor apéro. Though the day started out decidedly gray and cool, it gave way to warm temperatures and the aroma of the first neighborhood barbecues — something that always signals good weather here in the Netherlands. Instead of cooking outdoors, however, we opted for a nice bottle of wine and a platter of charcuterie, thinly sliced baguette, hummus and garlicky olives.
It won’t be long before we are allowed the joy of making this a more regular occurrence. There is nothing I love more than eating in my garden with the French doors wide open, the sunshine on my face, our little dog Pastis in his wicker basket and the sound of old chansons coming from the living room.
But what excites me most about the warmer months ahead is the abundance of fresh, new produce that will soon start to appear at our local market — not to mention the produce we always enjoy when we vacation in France. From bright pink stalks of spring rhubarb, to delicate, aromatic summer raspberries, I just can’t wait for all that color to fill my plate and lift my spirits!
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