Salads. They seem so simple. And yet.
The idea of pulling out stuff and washing it and peeling it and chopping it up–not always so inspiring. My salads sorely needed a dose of inspiration. I recently had lunch at a salad-y kind of restaurant and was inspired to recreate the Sunshine Salad I enjoyed. Here’s my interpretation of Sazza’s Sunshine Salad:
I used a mix of greens–red leaf lettuce blended with a spinach/baby spring salad blend. This kept the overall cost lower (more pricey “blend”, inexpensive head of red leaf lettuce) and gave lots of variety and crunch. I made my salad big as I was taking it to a pot luck dinner. Salads are hard for me to give ingredient amounts–you just kind of throw stuff in the bowl until it looks right. This salad started with a mix of greens described above–about half a head of red leaf lettuce and half of a package of spinach/spring salad blend, then I added one cucumber, chopped, two roma tomato, chopped, about one can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, about 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, and a 1/4 cup of of dried cranberries. I topped it with a lemon vinaigrette that I based off of the “appetite for reduction’s basic dressing” that you can find through my salad dressing post, here:
I substituted lemon juice for the vinegar, resulting in this recipe:
1/4 C raw cashews (would blend easier if they were soaked in water for a few hours first)
2 T chopped shallot
1/2 C water
1/4 C fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of one lemon)
2 t mustard (I used spicy brown)
1 t agave syrup
a pinch of salt
pepper to taste
Put that all in the blender and really let it blend to come together–it will take several minutes. My salad was a hit at the dinner party. And it was filling enough that I could take a big plate of it and pass on all the other foods (lasagna! garlic bread! some seriously tempting stuff!).
This salad started off some serious salad inspiration in my house and I’ve been enjoying more salads since then–and getting more creative with ingredients. I also came up with some great ways to store ingredients to make salad production easier and keep greens fresher, longer. I will share those later!
So what do you love on a salad?