I feel like loaded salads have been all the rage lately, like the more stuff we can pile on to make it at least “salady” as possible the “better”. I too really enjoy a loaded salad that has more ‘stuff’ on it than greens, but recently while out with Jordan, we had this show stopping salad that was so simple, but so so delicious. It was torn romaine hearts tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette, with tiny cubes of quince paste, crushed almonds and loads of freshly grated manchego cheese. It.Was.Incredible. We ordered about 6 sharable dishes that night between the two of us and we both agreed that the salad was our favorite, although all the dishes were great. We just weren’t expecting the salad to blow our minds the way it did!
Today we have our own version that we’re calling our ‘Everyday Simple Side Salad with Quince, Manchego and Marcona Almonds’. I have also been eating this salad as a side dish with my dinner, for the last 2 weeks straight, since I first had it. If you can’t find quince paste you can replace it with chopped dried apricots, but really try to get ahold of some quince paste if you can (usually in the ‘fancier’ cheese section at grocery stores). The sweet, refreshing and tart combo in this salad is a major win! This side salad also goes well with virtually anything so it would make a perfect addition to any Father’s Day menu, just saying. Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Everyday Simple Side Salad with Quince, Manchego and Marcona Almonds
Serves 4 to 6
3 lemons zested and juiced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2/3 cup plus extra virgin olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
3 hearts baby romaine, trimmed and leaves separated
3 ounces quince paste, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
2/3 cup chopped marcona almonds
3 ounces manchego cheese, freshly grated
1. For vinaigrette: Place lemon zest, juice, mustard, and honey into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. While whisking, pour oil, in a slow and steady stream until fully incorporated and blended together. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Top vinaigrette with romaine, cubed quince paste and half the almonds and toss together. Pour salad onto a large platter, into a single layer and sprinkle with remaining almonds.
3. Grate cheese over salad, creating a blanket of manchego. Lightly season and serve.