Apricots are at their peak, so stock up and enjoy. If the short, sweet season passes you by, dried apricots are a nice substitute in this recipe.
Fresh Apricot & Almond Salad With Lemon Ginger Dressing
| Serves 4 |
235 calories per serving
- 5 fresh ripe apricots
- 3 ounces ready-to-eat baby spinach
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 – 3 inch piece of fresh ginger (enough to make about 2 tablespoons, minced)
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of salt & a grind or two of fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Prepare the dressing: Peel and mince the fresh ginger (see an easy method of mincing ginger). Measure the liquid ingredients into a glass measuring cup and whisk together well. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, about one tablespoon of the fresh ginger and whisk again. Taste-test the dressing and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding more ginger, sugar and/or salt according to your preference. Set the dressing aside at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld.
Prepare the salad ingredients: Rinse the apricots, pat dry and cut into roughly 1/2 inch pieces, discarding the pits. Spread the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown. (When the nuts emit a heavenly scent that triggers your appetite, you know they are done.) While the nuts cool, transfer the ricotta cheese onto a serving plate, spreading it into a fairly even layer. Sprinkle about half the dried cranberries onto the cheese, then about half of the toasted almonds.
Assemble the salad: Transfer the spinach and apricots to a salad bowl. Whisk the dressing again, drizzle about 3 tablespoons over the salad and toss lightly. Arrange the salad on top of the ricotta cheese. Garnish with the remaining almonds and cranberries. Drizzle with additional dressing, if desired. Serve and enjoy.