Throughout April, we are celebrating beauty and balance with our friends at Real Simple! We’ll be posting some deliciously simple recipes on our blog, all of which are made with 7 ingredients or less – including this one. Enjoy!
What better way to welcome Spring than with this gorgeous salad packed with the season’s best produce! Drizzled with a creamy vegan lemon and dill infused salad dressing, it’s the perfect way to highlight famer’s market veggies. To add a bit more protein and make it a more filling meal, add cooked chickpeas, cold roasted salmon or chicken, or a hard boiled egg. Feel free to swap in any vegetables that look beautiful at the farmers market. Here’s a look at what you might find this season:
ARTICHOKES // Look for tightly packed leaves. Smaller artichokes are more tender and easier to prepare, as you don’t have to remove the choke.
Best: steam large artichokes and dip leaves in a garlic infused olive oil, halve and stuff large artichokes with a mixture of whole grain breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan cheese, toss sautéed baby artichokes with whole grain pasta and pesto.
ASPARAGUS // Look for bright green spears with firm tips and compact leaves. Avoid if the stalk looks wrinkly or the ends are slimy. Thinner stalks are usually sweeter and less woody.
Best: Pureed with vegetable broth and a bit of cream into a rich soup, roasted with olive oil, wrapped with a slice of prosciutto and grilled, scrambled with eggs and feta cheese
CARROTS // Look for firm carrots with a deep color, which means it will have more flavor.
Best: Shaved tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, roasted with olive oil, ginger, orange juice and zest, served raw with a dip
LETTUCE // Look for brightly colored, glossy leaves. Avoid greens that are wilted or have brown edges.
Best: As the base of a salad highlighting spring produce and a brightly flavored dressing, in place of a tortilla as a sandwich wrap
PEAS // Look for smaller, firm and glossy peas. If purchasing in the pod, make sure the pod is plump and not shriveled.
Best: Blanched and tossed with feta, olive oil and herbs, pureed with olive oil, herbs and parmesan to make pesto for whole grain pasta, tossed into a salad
RADISH // Look for firm radishes with no nicks or cracks. If the leaves are attached, make sure they’re not wilted.
Best: Slice raw into salads, as a garnish for Mexican dishes like tostadas, spread with grassfed butter and sprinkled with sea salt
- 1 bunch of radishes, halved
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 1 bunch asparagus, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
- ¼ cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), toasted
- 2 ounces feta cheese (optional)
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup water
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh dill, lightly packed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the radishes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- While radishes are roasting, shave carrots and asparagus, if not already done, then make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide lettuce evenly among four places. Top with shaved carrots and asparagus, radish, and sprinkle with pepitas and feta cheese. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Rachael Hartley is a Columbia, SC based private practice dietitian and food & wellness blogger at Avocado A Day Nutrition. She helps men and women lose weight and improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing with a whole foods based approach to nutrition. She is available for nutrition coaching and meal planning throughout the US via telephone and Skype.
Pure Barre is thrilled to be the fitness partner for Real Simple’s “Beauty & Balance” Weekend April 17-19! We will be on-site hosting Pure Barre classes at Real Simple’s event in New York and will also be bringing the beauty & balance concept to Pure Barre studios around the country. Stop by any of these participating locations to take a “Pure & Simple” specialty class, where we will explore how we couple small movements with our own body’s weight to achieve maximum results and transform our physiques.