Sunday, 15 July 2012

Summer Salad

Summer is the perfect time for salads, for oh so many reasons. First and foremost, the farmer's market is packed with a variety of fresh, crisp greens. Secondly, a brightly-coloured salad is the perfect dish to bring along for a day at the beach or a picnic at the park with friends (as long as you remember to pack forks, and to keep the dressing in a separate container!). Finally, well, let's just say it: bathing suit season can be a little more pleasant with the addition of a few more veggies.

I like to approach salad-making without too many rules. Who says you can't throw in grains, beans, fruit, or even leftover dinner? For this salad, I started with some local mâche and carrots from the farmer's market, threw in some quinoa and chickpeas from the night before, and topped it all off with a bright herb dressing. 

Springtime Salad

makes 2 servings

1 bunch fresh lettuce or greens (I used mâche)
2 medium-sized carrots, julienned
1 cup cooked beet-infused quinoa (or plain cooked quinoa)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup creamy green dressing (see recipe below)

To make beet-infused quinoa, combine 1 part uncooked quinoa, 1 part beet juice and 1 part water in a large pot. Add herbamere or sea salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. For extra beet-iness, add 1chopped cooked beet to quinoa for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve hot as a side-dish, or chill for using in the salad.

If preparing this salad in advance, place quinoa and chickpeas in the bottom of a large container or mason jar. Top with carrots and greens, and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Then when mealtime comes, just pour on the dressing, toss, and serve!

Creamy Green Dressing

makes 4 servings

3 spring onions, roughly chopped (green onions will work as well)
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp white miso
1/2 tsp herbed sea salt
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup water (as needed)

Combine all ingredients except water in blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

Dressing can be stored covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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