I don't mean to brag, but I have been given the title of the "Salad Queen."
I know, you're jealous.
I am sure it is not exclusive, so no need to panic. You, too, can be given that accolade by your significant other. In all seriousness, I love to make salads. I don't plan in advance too often; it is a matter of seeing what I have in the house.
I try to play off moods, season, and pairing. Usually it begins with a green, then some sort of texture (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds), sometimes an accent (cheese, bacon,) and then a dressing that compliments. Dressing is some sort of oil or fat and an acid (lemon, vinegar), salt and pepper, often an emulsifier (Dijon usually) and sometimes a specific flavor (herb, jam, juice, etc.)
This is one of my favorites and it is perfect for this time of year.
Oh my. I enjoyed every single bite.
I paired it with a Rosé from the Languedoc region: 2014 Côté Mas 2012 Rosé Aurore*. The blend is 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah. A beautiful salmon pink, the nose was tart red fruit and floral. A nice amount of acid making it lovely by itself and a great compliment to the food. When I initially tasted it, I found it to lean towards the floral, specifically lavender. With the food, it became silky and the fruit notes awakened.
A great value at around $12, this is one I would drink all summer long.