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I am not big on meal planning.  Sure we have our favorites that we eat time and again, but when I go to the farmers’ market each week I do not want to be confined by a list.  I want the freedom to be inspired by whatever fresh produce is calling my name, and find new and creative ways to incorporate the things I find into my meals.  I am often drawn to things that I deem unique or unusual.  It may be a familiar food in an unusual color like purple carrots or blue potatoes, or something completely foreign to me.  That was the case this weekend when I spotted a bunch of bright orange apricots.  I honestly cannot remember ever eating a fresh apricot in my entire life.  They have always crossed my path as dried up disks, or preserved in a jam, so when I saw a bunch of fresh apricots, I knew I had to have a few.

I also immediately knew what I wanted to make with them.  I would make my favorite salad, which usually calls for dried Turkish apricots.   I thinly sliced them up, and tossed them with some baby greens, avocado slices, toasted almonds, and goat cheese in lemon vinaigrette.  The fresh apricots were a refreshing change, but if you cannot find any, just substitute 10 dried apricots, thinly sliced.

Apricots, Avocado, and Almond Salad with Garlicky Lemon Vinaigrette

Adapted from Food to Live By

For the Garlicky Lemon Vinaigrette

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 medium sized cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar and shake to combine

For the salad

4 Cups Baby Spring Mix Lettuce

2 apricots, pitted and thinly sliced

1 large hass avocado, thinly sliced

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta

Place the lettuce in a large bowl, pour the dressing over and toss to coat.  Spread the remaining ingredients evenly over the top of the salad and serve.