It’s almost always a great time for salads. This one, with inclusion of fresh, ripe berries and a citrus dressing, pops with flavour. I’ve been making variations, with some or all four of the greens shown here, to take for lunch at work. I leave nutritional expertise to those with such qualifications, but you can see that this meal is based on fresh ingredients that are great for you.
If you’re pulling together this delicious salad for dinner, reserve some of the greens, pumpkin seeds and berries for your lunch the next day.
Ingredients: the Salad
You’ll see that I’m not listing quantities of greens; wash and prepare whatever portion makes sense for the number of people you wish to serve. Similarly, I never measure berry or pumpkin seed quantities, and go by sight. In preparing a salad for four, though, I’d estimate that I use a quarter cup of roasted pumpkin seeds, which we get from Granville Island Market.
- Kale – red, or green; I prefer red for its great presentation
- Romaine or other lettuce of your choice
- Swiss chard
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Fresh berries – my favourite is a combination of juicy blackberries and raspberries, but this also tastes great with strawberries
- Lemon juice – two tablespoons; depending on the size of lemon, this may require half a lemon
- Dijon mustard – half a teaspoon
- Grapeseed oil or olive oil – four tablespoons
- Granulated sugar – one teaspoon
- Lemon zest – half a teaspoon, derived from the lemon you’ve squeezed for the juice above
- Sea salt – up to 1/4 teaspoon, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper – to taste
About the Zest
Preparing zest can be as simple as taking a compact grater to a washed lemon. You’re simply removing the outer layer of a citrus fruit and, while you can acquire a lemon zester for this purpose, you can also use a simple grater you likely already have at hand. Have a look here or here to see how others prep their zest.
Tear your greens into bite-sized portions, and then wash and spin (or otherwise dry) them.
While your produce is draining or drying, wash the lemon and roll it back and forth a few times on your cutting board to stimulate the juices.
Slice and squeeze the juice of roughly half a lemon, and pour two tablespoons in a small mixing bowl. Add half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and gently stir. Mix in four tablespoons of grapeseed oil or olive oil (not both), and one teaspoon of sugar.
Prepare half a teaspoon of lemon zest from the lemon you’ve just squeezed, and add to the mix. Grind pepper and salt to taste, and whisk your ingredients together. If you’d like to prep the dressing earlier in the day, or even the night before, don’t hesitate to do so and store it in the refrigerator.
Assemble the Salad
If some of the berries squish when pierced with a fork, all the better; their natural juices blend beautifully with the salad dressing. Enjoy!
An Option for Your Dressing
If you’re a fellow smoothie maker, you know doubt find yourself with a bit of spare juice from berries after you’ve washed them for the blender. Here, I’ve reserved barely a teaspoon or so of raspberry juice and added it to the base dressing.
Rather than diluting the flavour, this takes it up just one more notch.