Spinach salad with lemon cucumber, toasted almonds, and summer cherries ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

11 August 2014

Spinach salad with lemon cucumber, toasted almonds, and summer cherries

Spinach salad with lemon cucumber, toasted almonds, and summer cherries

Well, we are still essentially buried under a massive amount of fresh CSA veg at all times.

This means salads. Lots of salads. Salads at dinner, yes; salads at lunch, yes. Salads at breakfast? Also yes.

Breakfast salads are one of my favorite things. This stems from our year and a half living in Brooklyn, during which we tried our best to eat at every restaurant possible, and consequently ended up eating a lot of brunch. I mean, we would have ended up eating lots of brunch anyway, but Brooklyn is one of those towns in which brunch is practically an institution. So we ate lots of brunch at lots of different places, and the main thing those places had in common was salad. Every time we ate brunch anywhere even the smallest step up from the classic diner, we discovered that our orders came with a handful of mesclun and shredded carrot, tossed with vinaigrette and deposited next to the egg of our choice.

And now I don't really want to eat breakfast without some sort of serious vegetable content.

So. Salad for breakfast?

We received both a bag of baby spinach and a few lemon cucumbers in the last CSA box. Clearly, those were the basis for an excellent salad.

Lemon cucumber is not a variety I use much, mostly because it's not the best choice for pickling. But when I'm not making pickles, I find its mild flavor and subtle crunch to be delicious in salads and sandwiches.

The cherries came into play after we found bags of them on sale for $2 per pound. You can't say no to that. And once you have cherries, you have to have a handful of crunchy, rich almonds as well.

Boom. Salad.

Spinach salad with lemon cucumber, toasted almonds, and summer cherries

Spinach salad with lemon cucumber, toasted almonds, and summer cherries

baby spinach
lemon cucumber
toasted almonds
sweet cherries
olive oil
salt, pepper
lemon juice

Arrange a few handfuls of spinach on each salad plate. Scatter a few drops of olive oil over them.

Trim your lemon cucumber, halve it, and slice it into thin slices. Arrange half a cucumber's worth of slices over each salad.

Roughly chop a handful of almonds and scatter them over each salad.

Pit your cherries, either using a cherry pitter or the paperclip method. Cut them in half. Strew a generous handful of cherry halves over each salad.

Dress your salads with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Done.

While these salads are excellent alongside a plate of traditional breakfast eggs and toast, they would also clearly be fine additions to the lunch or dinner table. Eat them with a huge sandwich, a seared piece of halibut and a side of green beans, a bowlful of rice and curry. It's all good.

What is your favorite summertime salad?


foodfeud said...

So beautiful! I've been really lazy about making and eating salads lately but I love the sound of this. Such cheap cherries, too! And yes, with the almonds.
I would maybe risk a Brooklyn brunch hour to eat this.

GlutenFreeHappyTummy said...

what a beautiful salad! cherries :D mmm

Catherine said...

Lately, I've been digging roughly chopped cucumber and tomato, dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a healthy sprinkle of feta. (No greens in this one!) But I just made a killer taco salad for dinner, so ... it's a toss-up.

June Baby said...

That looks like one awesome salad! I love meal salads like this, yours sounds perfect :)

Michelle said...

$2/lb?! Incredible.

Joanne said...

Breakfast salad, eh? I must start to incorporate this idea into my life! I would happily eat this for most meals, as it turns out.

Sippity Sup said...

Oh no. I just posted my doubts about the validity of some breakfast foods. I said I found the idea of breakfast cookies a little foreign. In fact I put breakfast cookies in the same category as breakfast salads. Now I feel foolish. GREG


wildtomato said...

My CSA is leaving me buried in melons, so I've been dressing them up with mint, honey, and a touch of salt. Your salad looks lovely!

Sue/the view from great island said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue/the view from great island said...

Putting cherries into a spinach salad is just about the best idea I've heard all summer --- great recipe!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Loving this spinach + cherries combo! What abeauty!

Helene Dsouza said...

Ha, I have never thought of having salad for breakfast. Need to try that asap. haha Strange how much I am rooted in my food cultures, I should think more outside the box just like you. Thanks for sharing your salad, I appreciate it.

Eileen said...

Hey, you don't have to actually risk Brooklyn brunch lines if you make your salad at home! :) All your salads sound great. I definitely could use a Greek salad or two before the summer tomatoes are gone. Greg, I agree re the breakfast cookies, but salads are good! Greens and eggs, together at last. Give it a try!

rika@vm said...

This looks yummy with summer cherries & toasted almonds! I love hearty salads like this especially with a nice tangy dressing!