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Spring Greens and Vegetables Salad with Vinaigrette

Community training dinner, 5/21/12

This salad uses the earliest spring vegetables that are easy to grow in your own garden: lettuce, turnips, radishes, and scallions. This salad is very light and bright-tasting, perfect for spring.

Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, white wine vinegar, or 1 tablespoon of each
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive, vegetable, or canola oil

Salad:

  • 8 oz lettuce or other salad greens, washed and dried
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 turnips, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves (optional)
  • 3 oz feta cheese (optional)

Make dressing: use a whisk or fork to mix together lemon juice/vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add oil and mix thoroughly. This will separate out as it sits because oil and vinegar do not like to mix. You can whisk or shake it again before you use it.

Toss salad: Combine lettuce, radishes, turnips, scallions, parsley (if using) and feta (if using) in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Serves 6.

 

VARIATION: Spring Greens and Vegetables Salad with Creamy Dressing

Community meeting training dinner, 3/20/2013

Instead of the vinaigrette, use this creamy dressing from the roasted sweet potato salad, and skip the feta cheese.

Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • large pinch salt
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (or substitute low-fat sour cream if plain yogurt is unavailable, or omit and make changes noted below – do not use vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice (increase to 4 teaspoons if omitting yogurt)
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil (increase to 2 tablespoons if omitting yogurt)

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 yogurt, lemon juice, and chili powder and mix well with a fork. Add oil and mix well.

Carrot and Radish Slaw with Mint and Lime

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/17/12

This salad uses fresh spring radishes, and it has a refreshing, bright flavor. This makes a good side dish to pair with heavier main courses to work in some fresh vegetables.

  • 1 pound carrots, shredded with a grater or matchstick slicer*
  • 10 radishes, shredded with a grater or matchstick slicer**
  • 1 small bunch mint, chopped to yield about 1/3 cup*
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

Combine carrots, radishes, and mint in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together lime juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and toss to combine.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

*Carrots, radishes, and mint can all be grown here.

**Radishes are one of the first crops you can harvest from your garden in spring.

Green Salad with Radishes, Toasted Almonds, and Citrus Dressing

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/3/12

This simple salad is perfect for the beginning of spring, when salad greens and radishes are some of the first crops to come up in the garden. The dressing is a very simple vinaigrette using lemon juice.

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (or substitute with other nuts of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, if available, or use vegetable or canola
  • 1 lemon: grate 1/2 teaspoon of zest (peel) and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice (or, you can substitute red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lettuce or spring greens, any variety, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces*
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced*

If you have time, toast the almonds: preheat oven to 350. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and bake for about 4-6 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. They can go from golden to burned to a bitter crisp quickly, so keep an eye on them. If you don’t get a chance to toast the almonds, they’re still good raw.

In a small bowl, mix together oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, radishes, and almonds. Pour dressing over and toss to combine.

Serves 8 as a side dish.

 

*Radishes and greens are early spring crops that are easy to grow in your own garden. Spring greens are also a high-value farmers market crop.

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