Thank heavens for warm weather.
We’ve finally put our sweaters, heavy coats and long underwear away. We’re ready to be outside with the grill and our dog, just soaking in the sun. This salad will be a perfect compliment to those warm evenings ahead.
While a salad might be considered a little light for your average weeknight supper, it made a wonderful Sunday afternoon lunch with a glass of (organic, homemade) iced coffee. We think you’ll love it either way, but you could easily add some tofu or grilled chicken to up the protein factor.
Oh pssst, and this features some local, in-season ingredients, so the Earth thanks you.
To start, you’ll be making the poppy seed dressing. Don’t worry – it’s common ingredients that turn out a big WOW! flavor. The leftover dressing is great for a marinade (we used it for pepper and mushroom kabobs) and as a sort of sweet and sour sauce for rice. So get cracking!
You will need:
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. mustard (whole grain or Dijon)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. red onion
- 1/3 c. apple cider, white wine or regular ol’ vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
- 3/4 c. olive oil
Place the sugar, mustard, salt and onion into a blender and add vinegar, pulsing until sugar is completely dissolved. Add in poppy seeds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the dressing is emulsified (creamy, not oily).
For the actual salad, you will need:
- 1 head of leaf lettuce (if you’re in the Valley, try this butterhead lettuce)
- We also threw in some spinach, because we had it on hand
- 1/2 c. toasted or candied almonds
- 1/2 c. feta cheese
- a few slices of thin, red onion
- 1 c. strawberries (not quite in season yet, but oh so delicious)
Simply assemble the lettuce and top with the nuts, cheese and fruit. Dress with your own, homemade poppy seed dressing.
We adapted this recipe from Food People Want, where they have some awesome ideas on how to update this salad for all seasons: pears and blue cheese in the winter, apples and spice pecans for fall. There’s plenty of mixing and matching to be done!
How would you serve it?