Spring Salad with Chili-spiced Croutons and Dressing

Spring Salad with Chili-spiced Croutons and Dressing

Committee meeting working lunch, 3/22/12

This salad makes great use of early spring produce. Feel free to use whatever vegetables are fresh in the store, farmers market, or your own garden. For a simpler version of this salad, click here.

Croutons (optional):

  • 1 cup cubed stale bread
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • large pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder

Salad:

  • 1 head lettuce, any variety, or 5-7 oz leaf or pre-cut lettuce*
  • ¼ cup parsley*
  • 6 radishes*
  • 3 scallions/green onions*

Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • large pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil

Croutons (optional):
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss all ingredients in a bowl, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp. Allow to cool.

Salad:
If using head lettuce, wash and dry leaves (shake, use a salad spinner, use towels, or air-dry), then cut or tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Take parsley leaves off the stems and add them to the lettuce. Wash, dry, and thinly slice the radishes, then add to lettuce. Wash, dry, and thinly slice the green portions of the scallions (reserve the white part for another use), then add to lettuce.

Dressing:
Finely mince the garlic. Add a large pinch of salt to the garlic on the cutting board and continue to mince, then use the side of your knife to grind the salted garlic into a paste. Get it as smooth as you can, but don’t worry if there are still some larger pieces. Scrape the garlic paste into a small bowl. Add lemon juice and chili powder and mix well with a fork. Add oil and mix well.

Assembly:
Toss salad with dressing and croutons (if using) and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

*Early spring garden produce that can be grown here in Nebraska

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