So, I’m scrambling like crazy to post some summer recipes before autumn officially rolls in. The Autumnal Equinox this year is September 22. I have a few days, I’ll cram in what I can!
The day time weather has gone back to feeling like summer again after the rain finally went away this week. The nights however, have definitely taken on a fall feeling. I love this time of the year; changing colours, warm days and cool nights, even the air smells different.
I was thinking why I fell behind posting seasonal summer recipes this year and then it occurred to me that Ramadan was bang in the middle of summer this year. I was busy posting holiday recipes.
Before I embrace autumn and all its seasonal glory, here’s a bit of a fluff recipe. I always feel a bit of a fraud posting salad recipes because, let’s face it, who doesn’t know how to make a salad? (Actually, you’d be surprised the number of bad salads I’ve had, there are people who don’t know how to make a salad.)
Truthfully, the only reason I’m posting this recipe is because it was so gosh darned gorgeous! And pretty delicious too! I saw a photo of a similar salad on Food 52, and purely because of its gorgeousness did I decide to make my version.
The original salad had many things going on, but one thing, besides the vibrant colour, that caught my fancy was the harissa in the dressing. Yep, my ears perked up and my eyes were as round as plates when I saw harissa on the list.
So, I went to work with what I had in my kitchen that day, and using my own honey Dijon vinaigrette, I added a dollop of harissa, and the salad was created; Strawberry and Melon Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette. And was it good.
Like all salad recipes, its open to improvisation. Add what you like and take out what you don’t. Keep the melon, of course! I personally, don’t like tomatoes and melons together, and so I kept my salad very simple, just strawberries and melons, with salad leaves and red onions to accompany. The slightly spicy harissa dressing was fabulous on the fruity salad. Some examples of fruit and vegetables you can add that will complement the dressing: berries, cucumbers, sprouts, watercress, green beans, butternut squash, jicama, and avocados.
I’m going to list the quantities I used, but you can eyeball just about everything. I bought a super sweet cantaloupe from my local organic farm and it was amazing, so if you source great local ingredients, you will get a stellar end product.
- 1 cantaloupe melon, diced or in balls with a melon baller (looks pretty)
- 1 pound/455g punnet strawberries, sliced or whole if small
- ½ small red onion, sliced
- couple of handfuls of mixed salad greens
- **You can add any other fruits or vegetables of choice, if desired**
- Harissa vinaigrette to taste
- HARISSA VINAIGRETTE
- ½ cup/118mL fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup/118mL extra virgin olive oil (or more if needed)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 heaping teaspoon Harissa paste (or more if you like spicy)
- HARISSA VINAIGRETTE
- Add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar and shake.
- Taste and adjust to your preference; you may like more olive oil, or more honey or more harissa.
- Store any extra in the fridge
- Arrange salad on a plate or a bowl, drizzle dressing over top and toss.
Hope you’re enjoying your week, we have started drying up here a little bit now but the hardest recovery is still to come. Please keep Colorado in your thoughts and prayers.