Summer Solstice Salad for Meatless Monday

by Gavan on June 21, 2010

Summer officially begins today in the Northern Hemisphere and I’ve officially entered salad season as you may have noticed from my recent posts. This year we tried our hand at growing spinach for the first time—and by we I mean my Missus, bless her. Apparently it’s quite easy to grow and it grows fast. Within 4 weeks from planting the seedlings we were tucking into this beautiful salad chock a block full of summer veg. We all know we’re supposed to eat a good chunk of fruit and veg everyday (click here to find out what’s best for you) but most of us don’t come near our recommended daily intake. Making a big green seasonal salad such as this once a day makes achieving your allotment much easier and it’s relatively painless to assemble, including the homemade vinaigrette. As I keep saying, eating healthy is easy!

Whale spinach seedlings planted 5-13-10. Picked and eaten 6-7-10. As you can see our chard didn’t like the transplant too much but it’s growing back slowly but surely.

When it comes to quantities this is up to you.

fresh spinach, washed. (Avoid bagged spinach if possible but if you do use it, make sure you wash it well.)
heirloom tomatoes, halved then quartered
chick peas (garbanzo beans)
cooked beets, chopped
hearts of palm, sliced
cucumber, halved and sliced
grated carrots
haricot verts, blanched
jicama, matchstick style

Jicama, also known as the Mexican potato, is an awesome addition to salads and slaws. If you haven’t tried it yet go on and be adventurous!

For the beets you can roast them or boil them, either way do this step ahead to make your life easier. Assemble any ol’ way you like or go for my artistic flair as shown.

Serves 2ish

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chives, chopped
drizzle of honey
pinch of S&P to taste

My trick for the easiest way to make homemade dressing is to combine all the ingredients into a jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Taste and season additionally if needed.
NOTE: This works perfectly for individually portioned dressings but if you’re making larger quantities like a big batch for the week it’s easiest to use a food processor or blender. In this case you’ll want to add in all the ingredients except for the oil, which you’ll gradually add in while blitzing (aka while the machine is running).

Meatless Mondays aren’t so bad are they? Welcome to summer!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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