Get seasonal with spring greens, avocado and grapefruit salad
March 25, 2014
By Maria Nelson
Spring is just around the corner. Can you feel it? Warmer, longer days, and daffodils and crocuses peeking through the soil all give me hope that winter day’s are almost at end.
Often, when I feel anxious for the beginning of a new season, the best way I find to welcome it into being is to begin doing so in my kitchen and, of course, by extension, onto my plate.
A light, colorful salad is the epitome of spring, particularly if it includes small micro-greens, shoots and starts. Packed with nutrients, delicious to eat and beautiful to look at, micro-greens should be in everyone’s salad at one point or another. More readily available than they’ve ever been, they are perfect additions to smoothies, stir-fry, sandwiches or on fresh roasted fish as a garnish with berries.
The plethora of recipes that can be made with these lovely little greens is truly astounding. Some greens are so sweet they can be consumed as is with no dressing, no pomp, no circumstance.
The addition of avocado, grapefruit and oranges help round out the salad, pushing it into entrée territory, but if you’d like to up the protein quotient, you certainly can by adding whole cooked grains, such as farro, cracked wheat or even quinoa. Shredded chicken or grilled shrimp would also be a lovely addition.
A salad this light and refreshing doesn’t need a heavy dressing to weigh it down. I’ve added a small amount of orange blossom water to my typical vinaigrette recipe to give the flavors more of a boost, and to serve as a nice floral counterpoint.
You can find orange blossom water at Middle Eastern markets and increasingly at natural food markets. A light sprinkling of black sesame seeds provides just enough crunch and adds some visual interest.
The beautiful greens in this salad were provided by Farmstr, a direct-to-the-consumer-from-the-farmer website that is now offering services to Issaquah.
Spring Greens, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
- 1 ½ pounds mixed baby greens
- 1 cup pea shoots
- 1 cup sunflower starts
- 2 large avocados, sliced
- 2 large grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
- 1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Arrange the greens, pea shoots and sunflower starts on a large platter. Tuck the avocados, grapefruits and orange slices in among the greens. Scatter the onion and sesame seeds over the top, and serve the dressing along side.
In a small container with a lid, combine the oil, vinegar and the orange blossom water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake the jar thoroughly to combine the ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready.
Maria Nelson is a blogger and food photographer living in Issaquah. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Relish Magazine, Buzz Feed, Daily Candy and other online publications. Find her at www.pinkpatisserie.blogspot.com.