Spring Superfoods Salad

Spring Superfoods Salad 1

I think that if there were one food whose reputation I wish I had the power to transform, it would be the salad.

Carnivores, please don’t run screaming. I’m not here to convince you that gnawing on raw carrots all day long is where it’s at, man.

But, I do want you to see what my idea of a salad looks like. It’s neither the super-bland “house salad” of your typical restaurant (all bitter ribs, too-thick cucumber slices and screamingly raw red onions drowning in a weird vinaigrette); nor is it the I’m-pretty-sure-it-will-kill-you-faster-than-a-Big-Mac goopy dressing, cheese-infused mess from fast food joints.

No, this salad has the season’s freshest vegetables (wait, carnivores!), a last hurrah of winter fruit, quinoa for an extra hit of protein and … yes … meat. In my case, smoked salmon, but you can sub grilled chicken or smoked turkey. All with a lightly honey-sweet, lemony dressing.

Will I completely wreck the party by revealing how healthy this salad is? Yes? Okay, we won’t talk about that then. [But it really is healthy. Shhhh, you didn’t hear me say that.]

Spring Superfoods Salad 2

See how beautiful “green” salads can be? Kale, asparagus, green onions, pepitas, avocados — that’s definitely my kind of green.

Spring Superfoods Salad 3

But the best advice to eating well is always, “Eat the Rainbow.” Reds, oranges, purples and pinks and greens. They’re all salad-naturals, with their rainbow of colors and vitamins.

Spring Superfoods Salad 4

If this doesn’t make you want to run out and start a Spring garden, I don’t know what will (and it’s still not too late in many part of the U.S.)

Karen xoxo

PescatarianThis recipe contains healthy grains, seeds and/or nutsGluten-free

Spring Superfoods Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes     Cook time: 5 minutes (for blanching)     Yield: 4 servings as main dish, 6 as a side

4 large leaves kale, sliced chiffonade and blanched (I used black kale)
handful spinach, stems removed, sliced chiffonade
1 small head Boston or bibb lettuce, cored and roughly chopped
1 bunch asparagus, tender ends only, cut into 2″ pieces (blanched, if desired)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cubed
3 radishes, thinly sliced
4 ounces, smoked salmon, chopped or flaked
1 orange, supremed and sliced (I used Cara Cara; use what’s available)
1 palmful dried cranberries (or pomegranate arils when in season)
1 cup cooked quinoa – great use for leftovers (or sub 1 cup prepared lentils or chickpeas)
goat cheese, crumbled, for garnish
pepitas (roasted pumpkins seeds) for garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon vinaigrette
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Place the prepared ingredients from kale through and including quinoa in a large bowl and toss gently to mix.

Add the vinaigrette ingredients except the oil to a blender or a tall container (if using an immersion blender). Blend contents well. With the motor running, begin drizzling in the oil until well emulsified.

Plate the salad in individual servings with a garnish of goat cheese and pepitas, plus a light sprinkling of salt and/or black pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.

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  1. Darlynne says:

    Yes, salad can be a meal and carnivores don’t have to run away. Kale and I haven’t exactly been friends, however, but I’m willing to keep trying.

    I hope you and Chuck enjoy the film.

  2. Very lovely. I am more than ready for spring to bang on my door. And I TOTALLY hate when my salad comes glopped up with who knows what over it. I always ask for my dressing on the side so that I can check it out first…

    When you say “eat the rainbow”, I start looking for the bag of Skittles…

    Have a lovely weekend & best wishes with Moses 😉

  3. Your photos make me want to eat dinner again but with your salad!

  4. Your idea of a salad and mine are quite similar. When preparing one, a familiar phrase “the kitchen sink” often floats through my mind. Been eating this kind of “dinner” for quite a few months now. It started out with Trader Joe’s pre-boxed salads and slowly progressed to pretty much anything that wasn’t tied down. It’s so much fun pairing and combining things because it’s surprising how well sweet and savory go together! Two weeks ago, added black chia seeds to the mix, which I liked. Will have to try quinoa for a change since chickpeas and lentils are already in the works.

  5. I love salads, especially this time of year when everything is just so beautiful in the market and in the garden.

    Love the addition of quinoa. This looks too good to eat, but I suppose I’ll give it my best shot!

  6. Just saw this at The Kitchn. What a beautiful salad! Love all the colors from those superfoods.

  7. Yum! Looks really delicious and healthy!

  8. YUM! Made this last night (although after putting it all together, I decided to leave out the lettuce). Even though it takes a while to put everything together, it is totally worth it.

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