Normally once the temperatures rise, I start creating endless amounts of salad recipes. For some reason, I was feeling uninspired to do the same this year. I made a charred corn and zucchini pasta salad and pretty much ended it with that. But now that summer is coming to an end, I thought I share a last-minute summer harvest salad. This beauty combines all of summer's best ingredients and dresses them up with a cashew poblano ranch dressing. It's simple but very effective.
Summer Harvest Salad
Cashew poblano ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoon cashews raw
- 1 poblano pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup jicama peeled, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 14 ounces canned chickpeas
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 corn shucked
- 2 boiled eggs sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup snap peas blanched
- 2 cups Tuscan kale chopped
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup feta crumbled
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Soak cashews in enough boiling water to fully cover the nuts. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Place the poblano on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until charred. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skin, stem, and seeds from the pepper.
- Blend the cashews with the roasted poblano, olive oil, parsley, dill, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Pickle the jicama. Combine the boiling water with vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the thinly sliced jicama and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse in water. Pat dry the beans with clean kitchen towels until completely dry. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the chickpeas. Cook the beans until golden brown and crispy. Season with dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Remove the chickpeas and wipe the skillet clean. Heat another tablespoon oil and saute the corn until lightly charred. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the salads. Portion the Tuscan kale and arugula into two bowls. Top the salads with the pickled jicama, crispy chickpeas, sauteed corn, boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and feta. Serve with the cashew poblano ranch dressing.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
At first glance, this summer harvest salad might seem ordinary but what really makes it shine is the dressing. Just the name of it, cashew poblano ranch, makes it exciting, don't you think? I can't take all the credit for this salad, however. I got the inspiration from a restaurant, True Kitchen, in Pasadena. They serve a healthy kale vegetarian salad with the same dressing and I knew I had to recreate it. And so here we are.
To make the dressing, first, soak some cashews in boiling water. You can let them sit in room temperature water overnight, but I wanted to speed things along.
Once the cashews are softened, drain the nuts and blend them up with the remaining ingredients. There's no mayonnaise in this ranch dressing but it's still so creamy all thanks to the cashews! The roasted poblano also adds a lovely kick.
For the remaining ingredients, you can swap out any you like and use what's available. I love sweet corn in my summer harvest salad so I always make sure to add that in.
Shuck the corn and saute them until lightly charred. Alternatively, steam the corn or grill them.
To make sure this salad is satisfying enough, I added crispy chickpeas and boiled egg to the mix. For the chickpeas, it's imperative that you rinse and dry the beans before frying them. If they're too moist, they won't crisp up.
So far we have a sweet element from the corn, spicy creamy from the dressing, and starchy from the chickpeas. We need a sour element, hence the pickled jicama. The jicama needs at least 30 minutes to sit in the brine; you can also make them the day before.
Prepare the remaining salad ingredients including blanching the snap peas, cutting the cherry tomatoes, and crumbling the feta.
Top the salad greens with the toppings and drizzle a good amount of that delicious cashew poblano ranch on top. If this summer harvest salad doesn't scream summer, I don't know what will!
For more summer salad inspiration check out this grilled apricot couscous salad!