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Roasted Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Croutons

It's Quilt Show time again! If you are a quilter I'm sure you know what I mean. Every April the AQS has it's Annual Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, Kentucky. It is huge and exciting - at least for anyone who swoons over luscious color combinations, well executed piecing and intricate quilt stitching, whether by hand or machine.

Of course the AQS Quilt Show is not the only thing going on in Paducah this week. Many smaller quilt exhibitions are set up in the area. You can visit the Lowertown Arts District, my favorite area hangout, or check out what's going on down along the river.

Two years ago we were lucky enough to get tickets for the the annual Quilt Show Luncheon hosted by Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah, Ky. We were served a fantastic lunch at tables set among a collection of local quilts that were hung for the event.

After lunch we toured the beautiful church. It is listed on the Historic Register. Built in 1874 in the Gothic Revival Style it is filled with beautiful stained glass windows and graced with dark wood furnishings. As if that weren't enough to recommend it, late April adds its own icing as the church yard fills with the breathtaking pink and white blossoms of its abundant dogwood trees.

The food served at the luncheon was interesting and tasty. Last year I posted about the tempting Mint Julep Brownies that were served for dessert. Another dish that was brilliant was the Roasted Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Croutons. This unusual combination of roasted fruit, baby salad greens, luscious cinnamon croutons and sweet creamy dressing was as gorgeous as it was delicious.

This recipe is perfect for spring lunches. The roasted fruit combined with springy salad greens, dressed with this luscious lemon honey dressing and topped off with cinnamon bread croutons makes a stunning and substantial side salad for a quilt luncheon, derby dinner, mother's day brunch or any other happy spring occasion.

Roasted Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Croutons
adapted from 2008 Quilters' Luncheon at Grace Episcopal Church

3 cups 1-inch cubed cinnamon bread

6 oz. baby greens
1 cup red seedless grapes
2 pears, cored and cut into 8ths
1 red apple, cored and cut into 8ths
1 cup seasonal fruit such as plums, peaches, apricots or cherries, cored and cut up
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

To make Croutons:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place the cinnamon bread cubes on a baking sheet.

Bake, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.

To make Roasted Fruit:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with lemon and sugar. Toss to thoroughly coat the fruit.

Spread the coated fruit in an single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until the pears are tender and the fruit begins to brown slightly, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove fruit from oven and set aside to cool.

To make Dressing:

Place dressing ingredients in a blender and mix until ingredients are emulsified.

To assemble Salad:

Toss the greens with enough dressing to coat. Arrange roasted fruit on top and sprinkle croutons on salad. Serve with additional dressing, if desired.



Cathy said...

I'm so envious that you were able to attend the quilt show in Kentucky. It's so much fun to admire the beautiful work of other quilters.

This salad looks delicious and cinnamon croutons are the perfect topper.

Ricki said...

I am in awe of quilters--quilts can be so beautiful, and they seem to carry with them the spirit of all the people who've touched the scraps that make them. Your salad looks divine--what a great combination of ingredients, and I love the idea of roasting the fruit first. This one is on my list of things to make this summer!

Kathy Walker said...

How fun to be able to attend the luncheon and see fabulous quilts! I went to my first Quilter's Guild meeting last week and I am in awe!

I am intrigued with this salad. I will be making it!! Thank you for sharing.

Love the old church!

grace said...

sounds like quite a quantity of quilts! :)
this simple salad sounds amazing--the croutons would clearly be my favorite aspect!

From the Kitchen said...

The salad sounds amazing. I will certainly put it on my "to make and eat" list. Your previous post of soft snickerdoodles is going on the list too. Who'd ever thought they could be improved upon but it sounds like they can. I'm so glad to have found your blog and will become a "follower" today.