A fresh and sweet summer salad with a robust, herb-infused dressing. Bite into the tantalizing juiciness of the season with this recipe full of golden Rainier cherries, arugula, red onion, and roasted leeks.
Roasted Leek & Cherry Salad makes a healthy, elegant course for brunch, lunch, or dinner. If you’re like me, you love embracing the freshest, most beautiful flavors of summer — and making this salad just does that.
Summer is in full, blazing effect and the season’s brightly colored fruits and veggies have a chance to shine. A simple but bold salad is a great way to play with seasonal produce and get something delicious out of the deal. Cherries are at their peak, so why not use them to brighten up a midweek meal? Their sweetness blends perfectly with peppery arugula and the buttery onion-like flavor of leeks.
I have to admit — I’ve never been much of a cherry fan. For most of my life, I thought cherries came covered in poor-quality chocolate, or heinously red and goopy from a small jar. I avoid cherry-flavored lollipops and Poptarts. But fresh cherries were/are a revelation. They are the the most jubilant fruit of summer — commanding cobblers, charcuterie boards, and salads with nuanced sweetness and spring.
There are several varieties of cherries that can be found at your local grocer, but the sweetest of the bunch are golden Rainier. With distinctive sunset-red skin and vibrant flavor, they make the perfect addition to this luscious and tangy salad. An easy lemon herb vinaigrette rounds out the bold flavors and completes the bite.
Get ready for the best and boldest summer salad out there! Play with the fresh, sweet taste of cherries, and let your imagination run wild. Healthy food should be beautiful with layered flavor. If you do make my Roasted Leek and Cherry Salad, leave a review here and tag #ironsistereats on Instagram.
Roasted Leek and Cherry Salad
- 3-4 leeks trimmed, cut lengthwise
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz arugula or bold leafy green blend
- 1/2 cup halved and pitted cherries preferably Rainier
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsps minced basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to preference
- 2 tsp herbes de Provence (or similar spice mix)
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast optional
- Preheat oven to 400. Add water and leeks cut side-down and to an oven-safe skillet. Cover and simmer gently on stovetop for 3-6 minutes, or until leeks are tender. Flip leeks over, drizzle with olive oil and salt, then place in oven for about 20 minutes. Leeks should be golden-brown.
- Combine leeks, arugula, cherries, and red onion in a large bowl. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined, then drizzle over arugula mixture. Toss well and enjoy.