Summer officially begins in a couple of weeks. I get up each morning and look forward to certain sights and sounds of the season. I open the door to my back yard to hear birds chirping. I look out the window to see how the plants on my deck are doing. The best days are when it is time to clip some of the herbs to use for cooking. Dressing is one my favorite things to make with them. It truly brings the summer element into salads like this turkey spinach salad with herb vinaigrette.
Have you heard of panzanella? It is a salad some genius came up with to utilize dried-out or day old bread. It is traditionally done by soaking the dry bread pieces with dressing and then mixing it with tomatoes and other summer vegetables. The dressing-soaked bread is what inspired me with this salad. Chunks of bread are lightly toasted then briefly soaked with herb vinaigrette before being tossed with the rest of the mix. It’s so much better than hard crunchy croutons.
Turkey spinach salad has a plethora of flavors and textures. It starts with leftover roasted turkey. Yes, I do roast turkey all throughout the year. I’ll cook one for Sunday Supper and then use the leftovers for sandwiches and salads during the week. Fresh baby spinach is the salad base. Dried apricots and cranberries add sweetness. Red onion gives a little zing. Blue cheese brings earthiness and softness. Toasted walnuts provide crunch. It is all freshened up with herb vinaigrette that is whirled up quickly in the blender. You can make the dressing days in advance. Remember to take it out of the fridge an hour before using then shake it to re-combine as it will separate.
One tip on growing herbs (and other plants): Remember to fertilize throughout the season. This is very important for those grown in containers. The nutrients in the soil are taken in with the plant and leeched out with watering. They need to be replenished for your plants to remain strong and healthy. For more tips take a look at my post on Summer Gardening.
Have you harvested from your garden yet? I have and used mine to make this turkey spinach salad with herb vinaigrette for a Weekday Supper. American Family Insurance is encouraging everyone to garden as a part of a healthier lifestyle in their Choose Dreams campaign. The Sunday Supper Movement partnered with AmFam to share gardening tips and recipes. You can find them on the Recipes From The Garden Pinterest board and links to more Weekday Supper meals below. Oh, and take a look at my Greek Salad for another one to make with herb vinaigrette.
Would you like more Weekday Supper recipes from the garden? Take a look at these quick and easy ones from Sunday Supper contributors featured this week:
- Monday – Zucchini Noodle Salad with Arugula, Burrata and Tomatoes by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Tuesday – Zucchini Rice Gratin by Delaware Girl Eats
- Wednesday – Broccoli and Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash by Yours And Mine Are Ours
- Thursday – Turkey Spinach Salad with Herb Vinaigrette (above)
- Friday – Farmers Market Pasta by Momma’s Meals
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.