Spring Forward with Seasonal Salad Inspiration
It’s that time of year again to spring forward with lighter but still satisfying and delicious plant-based dishes.
This seasonal salad features juicy and sweet Ojai Pixie tangerines from Southern California, steamed and ready-to-eat baby red beets, licorice-like fresh fennel, and slightly sweet & spicy pickled red onion, all plated on top of a combination of arugula and kale sprouts— two components that lift this dish from a salad to a meal.
Fresh plant-based “ricotta cheese” made from buttery macadamia nuts adds extra protein and a creamy contrast to the crispy, fresh vegetables and greens. A vinaigrette that combines two immunity-boosting powerhouses (fresh ginger and fresh turmeric) is loaded with beneficial antioxidant plant compounds, which raises the nutrition factor while adding a unique flavor to the salad.
Use this recipe as a jumping-off point to embrace the season and all its bounty. I hope you’re inspired to include more fresh vegetable salads in your springtime repertoire.
Spring Forward Salad
For the Ginger and Turmeric Vinaigrette:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh turmeric, grated
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 ½ tablespoons honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
For the Macadamia Nut “Ricotta”
1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked in hot water for 4 hours or overnight)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (approximately ½ a medium sized lemon)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
Place the soaked and drained nuts, salt, garlic clove, lemon juice, and water in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. This may take 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the minced chives and parsley into the creamy mixture and refrigerate until well chilled.
For the veggies and greens
2 ½ cups arugula
1 ½ cups kale sprouts
1 package steamed baby red beets, sliced
2 to 3 Ojai Pixie tangerines, peeled and sliced into rounds
¾ cup pickled red onions (sliced and soaked in seasoned rice vinegar for 30 minutes)
1 cup fennel, shredded
To assemble the salad, combine the arugula and the kale sprouts and scatter over a serving platter. Arrange the beets, tangerines, red onion and fennel over the greens.
Dollop the macadamia “ricotta” in several places and then drizzle the salad with the dressing.