I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a weird thing where I wait as long as humanly possible to turn on the air conditioning each summer. Call it pride, call it being a cheapskate about paying the electric bill. But it gets to the point where I have 2 fans pointed directly at me, laying on the couch in shorts and a tank top in a fashion where no body part is touching another body part. <—– We call that the “husky lay” in honor of our first dog, a Siberian husky, who laid like that whenever the temperature got above 65 degrees. So much fur.
I do eventually cave in each summer and turn on the sweet, sweet relief of blasting cool air. But until then, I need to keep my meals as cold as possible, too. Crisp, cold salads like this one are all I feel like eating when I’m doing the husky lay. I’ve lightly dressed crunchy butter lettuce with a simple balsamic vinaigrette and a sprinkle of Marcona almonds (regular almonds work fine here, too).
Because balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a natural flavor pairing, I bulked up my summer salad with a side of crostini topped with creamy ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries. I did turn on the broiler for a hot minute to toast the baguette, but you could also do this in a toaster or toaster oven. Or, if it’s really hot, just don’t toast the bread at all. I won’t tell anybody. Stay cool this summer!
Milk for the dairy products used in this recipe was produced by members of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. For more information on UDIM and to find out why Milk Means More, please visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
- 1 whole grain baguette, thinly sliced on a diagonal (about 12 slices)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 medium heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 6 tablespoons Marcona almonds or sliced regular almonds
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- Heat broiler to high heat. Place baguette slices on rimmed baking pan and lightly brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Place under broiler and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp, watching very carefully.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) oil until all oil is incorporated. Add lettuce and almonds; gently toss to combine. Divide salad between 4 plates.
- Spread crostini with ricotta and divide strawberries over ricotta. Divide crostini between salad plates and serve immediately.
Disclosure: As a Milk Means More Ambassador, this post was sponsored by The United Dairy Industry of Michigan. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.