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There are so many flavours and textures here, especially if toasted almonds or pistachios are added to the party.
Serve this salad alongside grilled chicken, pork, or shrimp.
The person who ate the salad with me said, “this is like something you would serve at a fancy restaurant except it’s in your own backyard.” I could not have said it better.
Roasted apricot salad with fresh mozzarella
8-10 medium ripe apricots, halved and stones removed
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and pepper
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed
1 large head butter lettuce, leaves torn
1 ball fresh mozzarella (approx. 226 g)
Several fresh mint and basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Toasted nuts such as pistachios or almonds (optional)
Ripe cherry tomatoes (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the apricot halves cut side up in a single layer in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with the brown sugar and generously season with salt and pepper. Nestle in the thyme sprigs. Roast for 20 minutes until the apricots are soft and lightly caramelized.
2. Shred the kale leaves and put them into a large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Massage the kale with your hands until it has softened, about three minutes. Add the torn butter lettuce leaves and fresh herbs.
3. To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients into a jam jar and shake vigorously. Pour the dressing over the salad mix. Divide the salad onto four salad plates (or one large platter) and top with the roasted apricots. Tear the fresh mozzarella into pieces and nestle these into the salad. Garnish with nuts and cherry tomatoes, if using.
Note: If unable to find fresh mozzarella, use crumbled feta or goat cheese instead.