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Spring Forward with Seasonal Salad Inspiration

Image of salad

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

Ingredients

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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

Preparation
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

Preparation
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

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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

Preparation
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.

Image of assembling the salad

Dollop the macadamia “ricotta” in several places and then drizzle the salad with the dressing.

Imag of assembled salad

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