Frisée Salad with Italian Plums & Hazelnuts

Later in the fall, this salad is equally amazing with slices of crisp apple or juicy pear.

Ingredients:
1 medium head radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium head frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
1 ripe Italian plum, pitted and cut into thin slices
¼ cup hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a large bowl, whisk the hazelnut oil with the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

2. Add the radicchio and frisée and toss until coated. Add the plum slices, blue cheese and hazelnuts, season the salad with salt and pepper, toss gently and serve.

Marinated Cucumber Salad

Super simple and healthy, this salad is perfect for casual summer feasting.

Ingredients:
2 cucumbers
1 red onion
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Peel the cucumbers and then half lengthwise before thinly slicing. Then, peel and thinly slice the onion and place in a bowl with the cucumber.

2. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and oil in a bowl and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the vinaigrette over the cucumber and onion mixture and toss well to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1-2 hours before serving cold or at room temperature.

Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Tossed with a sweet-tart citrus dressing, this salad is fresh and bright and pairs nicely with just about any main dish.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch Lacinato kale, greens removed from thick stems, washed and patted dry
1 cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup lemon juice
1½ cups olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Sea salt

Method:
1. In a small skillet, toast almonds until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and 1 heaping teaspoon salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Using the flat side of a knife, crush the garlic cloves and add to the dressing, setting aside to steep.

3. Working in batches, cut the kale into thin ribbons and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the almonds. Remove and discard garlic cloves from dressing. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste for both dressing and salt, adding more as needed. Serve within 1 hour.

Grilled Peach Salad with Marcona Almonds

With peppery arugula and a red wine vinaigrette, this salad would also be incredible tossed with smoked chicken.

Ingredients:
3-4 peaches, pitted and quartered
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup Marcona almonds
3 cups loosely-packed arugula
1 cup crumbled Westward blue cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

2. Add the peaches to a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Grill for about 2-3 minutes, flesh side down, until peaches are slightly softened and have grill marks.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, honey and remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

4. Gently toss the warm peaches in the dressing. Serve over a bed of arugula and sprinkle almonds and blue cheese over the top.

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