The inspiration behind this recipe is kind of a funny story. In the beginning of June, my fiancé and I took a trip to Disney World with my parents. Early in the week, we had lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We already love this restaurant after having dined here during our last trip, and my parents absolutely loved it as well. In fact, they loved it so much that they requested we return on our final day at the parks. We gladly obliged, ended up randomly being seated in exactly the same booth as our previous meal, and tried really really hard not to order the grilled Wagyu beef burger (with gruyere cheese and fried egg) again. (For reals, it’s that good.)
We tried a number of other delicious things on the menu, including the sweet corn bisque, scallops with pork belly, and their signature fettuccine alfredo. But alas, as often happens to me, my stomach was simply not big enough to try everything I wanted to, even between those two meals! One such dish that did not make the cut was a salad of local greens with champagne vinaigrette, fruits, goat cheese, and candied pecans. I thought to myself, “I could totally make something like this at home!”.
And so I jotted down the brief description of the ingredients and tucked it away in my list of blog inspiration.
The resulting recipe turned out somewhat different from what the original description was, I would say. For one, the biggest difference is that I used regular chopped walnuts instead of candied nuts in this recipe. Why? Because, as it turns out, I have to add “making candied nuts” to the list of things I have yet to master. (It’s a long list.)
After a couple of failed attempts, I decided to stop wasting all of our nuts for the time being and just use walnuts. Who doesn’t love crunchy delicious walnuts in their salads as a contrast to all that sweet and juicy fruit?
The champagne vinaigrette is slightly modified from what a typical vinaigrette would be also. I added a bit of tangy Greek yogurt, and I feel like it really emphasizes the champagne vinegar in the dressing.
Let me know if you try this recipe by commenting below, or tagging #thecharmingdetroiter!
A light summer salad of baby spinach with peaches, blueberries, goat cheese, and walnuts. It is completed with a creamy champagne vinaigrette.
- For vinaigrette:
- 2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 ripe peaches, sliced thinly
- 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
To make vinaigrette, whisk together champagne vinegar, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until combined. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking until emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to complete salad, divide peach slices among four salad plates. To a large bowl, add baby spinach, blueberries, goat cheese, and walnuts. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Divide salad evenly among the four salad plates, placing on top of the peach slices. Serve with extra vinaigrette on the side.