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by Liren Baker

Liren Baker is the voice behind the blog Kitchen Confidante, where she shares taste and inspiration in the kitchen. Inspired by the beauty of food, what it represents, what it invokes, and what we can create out of it, she shares recipes and images that remind her of her heritage, her childhood in New York, and the vibrant culinary culture she has learned to embrace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently lives.

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  • kale salad
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • I'm not quite ready to let go. To summer, that is. Are you?

    Do you enter the markets this time of year wanting to pick up every fruit in sight, dreading the possibility that this time next week, they may be gone forever? (Alright, maybe not forever, but for another year.)
  • apricots
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • I do. I find myself loading my baskets with stone fruits and melons, even the ones that may have already peaked in season, just because I want that one last cherry/apricot/plum/watermelon before it's time to turn to apples and pears.
  • snap peas
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • Inevitably, I find myself with an excess of fruit, which, truly, is not a bad problem to have. The trick is finding ways to eat all of it. This baby kale salad with apricots, feta, and apricot dressing is a wonderful way to eat your greens and taste what's left of summer.

    Apricots are certainly eye-catching, sliced in the beds of green, but they're used in the apricot dressing, too, which has been one of my favorite dressings this summer for its tang and versatility. Not to mention, it uses up all that extra fruit. That helps. So go ahead, be a little zealous at the farmer's market. This summer fun won't last forever.
  • kale salad
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • Baby Kale Salad with Apricots, Feta, and Apricot Dressing

    Serves 4

    For the dressing:
    5-6 ripe apricots, pitted and halved
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 cup sherry vinegar
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    1/2 cup olive oil

    For the salad:
    Apricot dressing
    12-14 ounces baby kale greens (blended with assorted baby greens such as spinach is good, too)
    1 cup snap peas
    2 1/2 cups sliced apricots
    1 cup cubed feta

    Blend the apricots, sugar, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it emulsifies into a creamy consistency. If preparing in advance, refrigerate in a sealed container and whisk well before serving.

    Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the peas and let it cook quickly, about 2 minutes. Strain and cool completely in an icebath. Drain.

    Toss together the baby kale with about 1/4 cup of dressing (enough to lightly coat). Let it sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes in a tightly sealed container. Add remaining baby greens, peas, apricot, and feta and toss with additional dressing. Serve immediately.
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