Summer Harvest Salad with a Cherry Balsamic Dressing

May 27, 2023

Introducing the Summer Harvest Salad with a Cherry Balsamic Dressing, a Cottage Cheese Dressing and Chopped Mint: a vibrant medley of mixed greens, crispy quinoa, and lightly fried green beans. But what truly sets this salad apart is the star of the show—our homemade cherry balsamic dressing, crafted with luscious fresh cherries for a burst of sweetness and a touch of tanginess. The finishing touch comes in the form of refreshing chopped mint leaves, adding a delightful herbal note to every bite.

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With its combination of textures, flavors, and the essence of summer, this salad is a celebration of seasonal ingredients and a true feast for the senses. Get ready to savor the taste of summer with each refreshing bite.

Dress it Up: Two Delicious Dressings for the Summer Harvest Salad

This salad has two dressings: First, we have a simple yet creamy cottage cheese dressing, created by blending cottage cheese, your choice of milk (I personally prefer soy milk), garlic, and a pinch of salt. This dressing adds a luscious and smooth texture to the salad. However, it’s the second dressing that steals the spotlight and takes this salad to new heights. The star of the show is the homemade cherry balsamic dressing, carefully crafted with the freshest cherries, velvety balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of fragrant olive oil, a touch of golden honey, and a sprinkle of salt. It brings a sweet and tangy flavour that combines perfectly with the creamy cottage cheese.

Ingredients for the Dressings:

For the Cherry Balsamic Dressing you will need:

  1. Fresh pitted cherries
  2. Balsamic vinegar
  3. Olive oil
  4. Salt
  5. Honey

For the Cottage Cheese Dressing you will need:

  1. Cottage cheese
  2. Milk (I use soy milk, but use your milk of choice)
  3. Garlic
  4. Salt

I’ll confess, making two different dressings does require a bit of effort, but let me assure you, it’s absolutely worth it! The process is simple – just pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. The best part is that you’ll have extra dressing, which you can use in sandwiches, other salads, or drizzle over roasted veggies. It’s a delicious bonus that keeps on giving!

If you are looking for other delicious summer salad ideas, try my Strawberry Avocado with Walnuts and Blue Cheese Salad!

Summer Harvest Salad with a Cherry Balsamic Dressing and Chopped Mint

Recipe by Raquel QuevedoCourse: SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 4 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • olive oil spray for quinoa

  • 4 cups green beans

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for frying green beans

  • 8 cups spring mix lettuce

  • Fresh mint leaves

  • Cherry Balsamic Dressing:
  • 1.5 cup pitted fresh cherries (210 grams)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Cottage Cheese Dressing:
  • 1 cup cottage cheese

  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I use soy milk) – you may need a little extra milk if it is too thick.

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven at 410 F.
  • Spread 2 cups of cooked quinoa on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone liner. Spray olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes, mixing quinoa once halfway through.
  • To prepare the green beans for this exquisite salad, start by removing the stems at the ends and cutting them once in half.
  • Next, heat up a skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, allowing it to warm. Place the green beans in the skillet, letting them sizzle. Turn them a couple of times allowing them to lightly fry. This should take about 1 minute.
  • Now start assembling the salad. Add the Spring mix lettuce to the bottom of your bowl of choice. Add most of the crispy quinoa on top of the lettuce, save a couple of tablespoons to add on top of the green beans.
  • Add green beans.
  • Add remaining crispy quinoa.
  • Drizzle cottage cheese dressing, then drizzle the cherry balsamic dressing.
  • Finely chop a handful of mint leaves. Sprinkle them on top of the salad.
  • Cherry Balsamic Dressing:
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Cottage Cheese Dressing:
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.


  • It is best to add the dressings just prior to eating.
  • Remember, the amount of dressing needed for this salad may vary depending on your preference. Feel free to add dressing to taste, ensuring that every bite is perfectly coated. Any remaining dressings can be stored in sealed containers in the fridge, where they’ll stay fresh and flavorful for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Please be aware that the information provided with this recipe is intended solely for general informational purposes. While we have tried to accurately test this recipe and present precise measurements and instructions, individual results may vary due to differences in ingredient types, cooking equipment, or preparation techniques.The nutritional information accompanying this recipe is not intended as dietary or medical advice. For any specific health or nutritional inquiries, please consult a registered dietitian or healthcare professional. We disclaim any liability for inaccuracies or misrepresentation of the provided information. We encourage users to approach this recipe with a mindful understanding that cooking is both an art and a science, and to use their best judgment in the kitchen.

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