When a friend gives you lemons

photo 3 (2)The box was heavy with Fresh Blood Orange California Extra Virgin Olive Oil,  Vanilla & Fig California Balsamic Vinegar, a jar of Preserved Meyer Lemons and a gorgeous reamer made of olive wood.
Both salad creations knocked our socks off.  I began with the Strawberry, Fig and Basil Salad on the Temecula Olive Oil Company website and tweaked it to availability and taste. Homemade, fresh vinaigrette is sensational.  This paired well with a perfectly grilled filet. arugStrawberry, Fig & Basil Salad*
1 shallot, finely diced
2 TBSP Vanilla & Fig Balsamic Vinegar (so very fragrant!)
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
4 ripe Black Mission Figs (I substituted slivered dates because my husband couldn’t find figs)
1/2 Cup TOOC Fresh Basil Olive Oil (I used a Tuscan herb olive oil from Napa)
2 handfuls fresh arugula
3/4 C fresh flat leaf parsley (This is where it changed- I used only arugula, a bowlful; no parsley, mint, or frisee) vinaigrette
1/2 Cup fresh mint leaves
1 handful young, tender frisee
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 ounces goat cheese, chilled
Sea Salt to taste.
Combine shallot and vinegar in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.Trim fig stems, removing anything fibrous but preserving the teardrop shape. Cut into quarters lengthwise and set aside.Whisk olive oil into the vinegar and shallot mixture. Combine the greens and herbs and gently toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Place the greens on a serving platter and nestle the fig quarters and strawberries around the greens. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the fruit and cheese and serve immediately.
*The original recipe featured on the website is by Peggy, Rockville, NY.

The second effort was originally an arugula salad, but we chose spinach.  This salad was a tasty complement to grilled chicken. spinparm Arugula Salad with Honey Citrus Pomegranate Dressing*
2 T Orange Juice ( I omitted this and chopped one of the Meyer lemons, plus finely diced shallot, into the vinaigrette)
2 T California Balsamico Bianco Oo-La-Pomegranate Vinegar ( I used straight Balsamico)
1 T Honey
1/4 Cup Citrus Reserve Late Harvest Olive Oil ( I used the Fresh Blood Orange California Extra Virgin Olive Oil; no regrets)
Fresh Arugula (I used spinach)
Fresh Pecorino Romano Cheese to Taste ( Used parmegiano here)
Salt & Pepper to Taste Pomegranate Seeds or Orange Slices (Optional) (I added sliced strawberries)
Blend orange juice, vinegar, honey and olive oil to make the salad dressing. Toss dressing over fresh arugula.  Top with fresh Pecorino Romano cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.
*The original recipe from the website is credited to Sue Lipsky – Storrs, CT.
Thanks, Liz, for your passion for good food and cooking, and especially for providing the inspiration!
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6 thoughts on “When a friend gives you lemons

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