Last week, I was hosting the Balanced Body & Life Summer Splash retreat with the amazing wellness team of Blackberry Farm and to say I enjoyed it would be an understatement. As much as I was keeping you all up to date with my adventures outdoors via Instagram and snapchat, I actually put away all technology and it was AMAZING! I haven’t felt this relaxed, refreshed, and inspired in a really long time; it just goes to show that I have to practice this for myself much more often…then who knows what I’ll be bringing to the table next! This recipe today is inspired by one of my favorite dishes I had during my stay + my insatiable hunger for peaches and apricots this time of year; Shaved Summer Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette.
Along with daily yoga, deep healing hikes, paddleboarding, swimming, eating, teaching nutrition, doing cooking demos, hanging out with the guests, reading, etc.; was eating the food! The food here is amazing, I truly can’t say enough about it. Given, I was here in January and chef Josh and the rest of the team made beautiful food, but this time around they seriously stepped up their game to accommodate my nutrition requests for my guests on this retreat; all dairy free options, all gluten free, all “light”, and without a doubt all fresh produce used directly from the garden! Not only could you taste the passion, love, and care that went into the entire process from planting, to farming, to cooking, but each dish was plated so beautifully with sublime flavor combinations that had the guests wondering “is this reallllllly healthy?” It was so much fun being able to work directly with the chef team to bring the guests an experience that healthy food can and does taste delicious…and no, not for being “healthy”!
I wish I had a garden. Yes, I have several small herb gardens and tomato plants, but I’m talking a real, living, breathing, garden full of produce that I could literally dig up and pick off, bring to the kitchen, and eat. It really was a gentle reminder to the way we all should be eating. This salad utilizes those same principles from digging up golden and red beets from the ground, picking off watery bib lettuce, peppery watercress, plucking zucchini from their vines, popping cherry tomatoes off the stem, and cleaning dirt of the carrots. All served in a simple way, which you know is my favorite, letting the food speak for itself. This salad is all about the texture of shaving each vegetable to give it a light, refreshing, and not an overpowering crunch- similar to my Shaved Asparagus Salad. I can tell you already that if you love apricots, the Apricots Vinaigrette will be your go-to this summer! It’s so thick and creamy you can use it as a marinade or dressing on grilled fish, as I use it here on salad, drizzled over fresh fruit, or used as a dipping sauce for vegetables by mixing it with Classic Cashew Cheese!
- SHAVED SALAD
- 2 red beets, thinly shaved
- 1 golden beet, thinly shaved
- 4 large carrots, thinly shaved longways
- 1 large zucchini, thinly shaved longways
- 1 large green apple, thinly shaved
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fennel fronds, chopped
- 1 cup watercress, optional
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- Garnish options: fresh mint, chopped cashews, fresh black pepper, red pepper flakes
- Apricot VINAIGRETTE
- 5 very ripe apricots
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, adjust to taste
- Fresh black pepper, adjust to taste
- FOR THE SALAD:
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice each vegetable longways creating thin strips for the carrots, red onion, beets, fennel, and zucchini. Set aside
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth, you can adjust seasonings of sea salt and pepper here as well as adding more olive oil to make it thicker- depending on how much juice the apricots you're using has.
- In a large bowl, gently tear the romaine and watercress, keeping them in large pieces. Place all thinly sliced vegetables into the bowl with halved cherry tomatoes, fennel fronds, and optional garnish items. Pour the Peach Vinaigrette into the bowl, using your hands gently fold to combine all ingredients together. Taste test and adjust for seasonings. Serve immediately.
I hope you all enjoy this and I want to gently remind you of this blog post, which I took to heart this past week trying to practice much more balance in my own life: 15 steps to living whole and eating well. Looking forward to seeing your remakes of this! #nutritionstripped
Check out my latest article on Bon Appetit in my series, Snacks Attacked! Where I analyze the BA staffers favorite snacks – such a fun one!