Im taking my nutrient packed salad to Fiesta Friday where you too can find amazing recipes and inspiration @TheNoviceGardener.com
You can easily make a main dish salad using any fruits and greens that are fresh. When I shop for produce, I always have salad in mind. We eat some raw and some cooked vegetables every day for lunch and dinner. I buy the freshest super greens that I can find; arugula, kale, spinach, mesclun mix, mustard greens, or cabbage. The deeper the green, the better. These types of greens are an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Iceberg lettuce on the other hand has very little nutritional value so pass it by and explore the green options. Most greens are on the dirty dozen list so buy organic whenever possible. Combine your greens with apples, pears, oranges, berries or any fruit that is in season. Roasting the apples and pears takes any salad over the top but you can use raw fruit as well. If your salad is the main attraction then add a nutritious source of protein with toasted nuts, legumes and/or small amounts of flavorful cheese like feta, blue or parmesan. You could add a small amount of cooked whole grains like barley or wheat berries. Skip the processed meats and go light on the cheese if you are watching your calories and saturated fats. Use a light hand when dressing these flavor packed salads. A light drizzle of olive oil or nut oils and a squeeze of lemon or orange juice is all that’s needed. Heavy mayo dressings are high in calories and will bury the delicate flavors of your fresh vegetables and fruit.
There are endless possibilities when building a main dish salad.
Here are a few of my favorites
Spinach, oranges and walnuts
Kale, apple and feta
Mesclun, berries and pecans
Arugula, watermelon and feta
Kale, butternut squash and pine nuts
Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad
2 Fresh Pears
1 Lemon, juiced
6 cups arugula
1/8 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts toasted
1/4 cup pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice pears into 1/2 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on parchment paper over a baking sheet. Roast until soft and golden about 20 minutes. Lightly toast nuts on a separate baking sheet approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely because nuts will burn easily. When cool, roughly chop nuts and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together oil, juice of one lemon, onion, honey, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper until combined.
Arrange arugula on salad plates, top with pears, nuts and feta. Drizzle with salad dressing.