Pascale’s Kitchen: Salads with fresh fruit

This week, I’ve brought you three of my favorite summer salads that combine raw vegetables with fresh fruit, seeds and nuts.

 Cabbage, plum, date and pomegranate seed salad (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Cabbage, plum, date and pomegranate seed salad
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

I love preparing salads in the summer months – especially salads that combine raw vegetables with other fun and tasty ingredients, such as seeds, grains, legumes, fish or cheese. Any of these additions can change any regular, boring salad and turn it into a fabulous and filling main dish. Moreover, these salads can easily be packed up to be eaten during a fun outing or at work

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To my mind, salads are like poetry. When you combine different voices and use the correct tools, you end up with a unique work of art. Every time you get your creative juices flowing, who knows what kind of showpiece you’ll succeed in making. 

This week, I’ve brought you three of my favorite summer salads that combine raw vegetables with fresh fruit, seeds and nuts. When we add fruit to fresh salads, the results are always sweet, and the wonderful crunch you get from seeds and nuts really take the salads up a notch. 

I love to use seasonal fruits, and summer fruits are some of my favorites for adding to lettuce salads. 

 Cherry tomato and plum salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Cherry tomato and plum salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

I always prepare my salad dressings and store them separately in the fridge, to be added just before sitting down to eat. That way, your salads stay crisp, and everyone can choose their own dressing, according to their preferences. 

The first recipe is for a multi-colored cherry tomato salad made with baby leaves, arugula and Sagiv plums (these are the plums that are oval shaped), plus roasted nuts that are commonly referred to as jala. 

The second recipe is for a Salanova lettuce and pear salad that includes lots of freshly chopped herbs, radishes and walnuts. 

The third recipe is for a salad made with cabbage, plums, yellow dates, pomegranate seeds and roasted nuts. 

All these salads are perfect for serving as a main dish on a hot summer day, or as a side dish during the upcoming High Holy Days. 

CHERRY TOMATO AND PLUM SALAD

Makes 6 servings. 

  • 1 package of baby leaves and arugula
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes, of varying colors
  • 10 plum tomatoes
  • 5 dark Sagiv (oblong-shaped) plums, pitted and quartered
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup roasted and salted nuts (jala)
  • 2 Tbsp. dried onions with herbs (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse and dry the baby leaves and arugula, then place them in a large bowl. Rinse the tomatoes, cut them in half and add them to the bowl. Add the quartered plums and the chopped scallions and mix lightly. Add the nuts and onions, season with salt and pepper and mix. Serve alongside various salad dressings so that each person can choose a dressing they prefer. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 15 minutesStatus: Parve

 Salanova lettuce and pear salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Salanova lettuce and pear salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

SALANOVA LETTUCE AND PEAR SALAD

Makes 6 servings.

  • 1 package of Salanova lettuce (2 medium)
  • 4 small pears
  • ½ lemon
  • 6 radishes
  • 4 scallions
  • 2-3 celery leaves
  • ½ bunch of mint
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • ½ bunch of cilantro
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar-free dried cranberries 
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Rinse and dry the lettuce, then cut the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Slice the pear into eighths and cut out the core and seeds. Place them in a separate bowl and drizzle lemon juice on top of them. Chop 3 of the radishes into small pieces and the other 3 into slices, then put them in a third bowl. Add the pears to the bowl with the radishes. Chop the scallions and all the herbs and add them to the radishes. Add the walnuts and cranberries to the radishes and mix well. Pour the radish mixture on top of the lettuce, then add the lemon quarters. 

Serve alongside various salad dressings so that each person can choose the dressing they prefer.

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 15 minutesStatus: Parve

CABBAGE, PLUM, DATE AND POMEGRANATE SEED SALAD

Makes 6 servings. 

  • ½ head of cabbage
  • 2 green plums
  • 2 yellow plums
  • 6 yellow dates
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup pistachios, roasted and lightly salted
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. light sesame seeds, roasted if desired
  • 1 Tbsp. dark sesame seeds

Rinse the cabbage, then cut it into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Remove the pits of the plums and dates, then slice them thinly. Add them to the bowl and mix. Add the pomegranate seeds, pistachios and almonds, and mix. Sprinkle the light and dark sesame seeds on top and serve alongside various salad dressings so that each person can choose the dressing they prefer.

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 15 minutesStatus: Parve 

ASSORTED SALAD DRESSINGS

Makes 3 jars.

Vinaigrette with cilantro and lemon

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons or limes
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1½ tsp. cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Honey, maple syrup or silan (optional)

Balsamic vinaigrette 

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Mustard vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard with seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano or basil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

To prepare the vinaigrette salad dressings, add all the ingredients to a jar. Shake well, then store in the fridge until ready for up to 10 days. 

You can add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or tahini to any of the salad dressings if you wish. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 15 minutesStatus: Parve

Translated by Hannah Hochner.