We had my favorite summer salad tonight for dinner. Tender young lettuce and spinach from the garden, chopped fresh chives from the garden, sweet cherries, crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and maple-lime dressing. I love the combination of flavors.
The basic dressing recipe is equal parts of freshly squeezed lime juice, maple syrup, and olive oil, with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Taste and adjust the acid balance, adding more lime if needed. I prefer my dressings on the tart side, and this salad often needs a bit more lime with the the sweetness of the fruit (tonight's dressing was too sweet but I was rushing).
This salad works equally well in the winter, with tart dried cranberries, cherries or apricots. It even works well with apple, although I have another spinach-apple salad I like in the winter months.
The cherries came from a roadside stand in New York, a gift from Dan's sister Louise, who probably didn't know at the time how crazy I am abut cherries! With luck, maybe my cherry trees will bear fruit this time next year.