With the Memorial Day holiday coming up this weekend, it is officially the beginning of summer, which also means....NO WORK FOR ME UNTIL MID AUGUST! Woohoo! After a whirlwind year of teaching during the pandemic, I am over the moon for a break!
I'm also in the middle of a pretty big lifestyle change, hence the Summer Slim Down Series. In an effort to get more healthy, I'm going to be experimenting with some healthier ingredients and new recipes over summer break, while I have the time.
So, this recipe marks the beginning of my Summer Slim Down Series and this recipe for Giada's Red, White, and Blue Salad is Summer Slim Down Series #1.
Originally I had this salad tagged to make for July 4th, but I was actually on the ball and realized I could make this for Memorial Day. Yeah, me!
One goal that I have this summer is to make some interesting main dish salads and this salad is a perfect example of that, a hearty mix of fruit, cheese, and nuts. This perfect summer holiday salad gets the red from the grapes, blue from blueberries, and white from the Gorgonzola. It also has some crunchy and salty pistachios and some diced quick pickled cucumber and is tossed in a champagne and mustard vinaigrette. It is healthy and beautiful but also light and satisfying at the same time.
I love a good salad with fruit, cheese, and nuts and this one doesn't disappoint. It has sweetness from the fruit and some acidic tanginess from the dressing and the cucumber quick pickles. I love the little nubs of sharp Gorgonzola and the salty crunchy bites with the pistachios.
I would take this to any summer potluck and toss it with the dressing right before serving. I would definitely make this again!
Red, White, And Blue Salad
Adapted from Eat Better, Feel Better
by Giada De Laurentiis
For The Quick Pickle
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
For The Salad
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 heads of radicchio, chopped*
1-1/2 cups red grapes, halved
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped roasted and lightly salted pistachios
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola Piccante
Notes: I couldn't find radicchio in the shops so it was omitted.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and the salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place the cucumber in a small bowl. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and salt. Add the radicchio, endive, grapes, and blueberries. Toss well to coat. Drain the cucumber and sprinkle it over the top along with the pistachios and Gorgonzola. Toss one last time and serve.