summer salads with fruit

i have a love affair with vegetables. i love their versatility. the variety of colors, shapes and textures. there's not a vegetable that i've tried, that i dislike. my theory is that, everybody can learn to love every vegetable... they just need to be open to experimentation and try them prepared in a variety of ways. i love vegetables so much, i imprinted them onto my left arm... forever. a full garden of botanical tattoos. people ask me if i will tattoo botanical fruit onto my right arm... for now, i have no plans to (my mother will be happy to hear)... but i have a growing appreciation for fruit. 9 months out of the year in seattle, our fruit options are lackluster. apples and bananas are about the only accessible ripe fruit. but everything else is always just hugely disappointing to me when eaten out of season. 

only in summer time, my love affair with vegetables is challenged by a rediscovered obsession with fruit. the farmers market pushes out piles of apricots, pluots, melons, berries, cherries, pears. i consume as many tart and sweet fruits as i can handle. a handful of cherries with my morning savory eggs. they mingle into my green salads. they work their way into my catering menus in every fashion possible. and somehow it provides me the perfect energy for all of my summer activities. it's amazing how the seasons support our bodies cravings.... if i had a giant additional freezer, i would stockpile them. turn them into freezer jam and hoard as many jars as possible and cross my fingers that i have enough to last me until the next summer.

nectarine & tomato caprese salad (pictured at top) 
large chunks of nectarines
heirloom tomatoes
torn fresh buffalo or cow mozzarella
a bed of mixed salad greens
olive oil & champagne vinegar 

cherry feta salad
pitted & halved rainier cherries
crumbled sheeps milk feta
ripe avocado
balsamic & olive oil 


classic strawberry & chevre salad 
ripe sliced strawberries
toasted walnuts
soft goat cheese
olive oil and tarragon vinegar

oh and that pizza that might be overshadowing the salad next to it... follow this recipe for dough, top with san marzano brand pizza sauce, sun dried tomatoes, pickled peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and after baking top with shaved parmesan. 

you might also like to look back at these two recipes featuring summer melon in salads: 

avocado & melon salad (also great on skewers with prosciutto