Summer Salad – Topped with My Favorite Secret Ingredient
Summer is a time for fun in the sun and not a time to slave over the stove. That's why I recommend making every summer salad a four-course meal.
I begin by building my summer salad with cooked grains.
Farro, quinoa or barley or a combination of all is the foundation. In another bowl, I start assembling my summer salad with greens like Boston lettuce, kale, and spinach.
I then add some high protein, nutrient packed legumes like garbanzo beans. To round it out I add hemp seeds, chives, cherry tomatoes, vegetables, cucumbers, radishes, golden raisins, chopped fresh fruit, and a small amount of healthy fat like nuts or avocado.
The great thing about this summer salad is you never have to get bored because of the bounty of fresh vegetables summer has to offer. I then top it with my secret ingredient which is preserved lemon vinaigrette.
If you have never had preserved lemon, the summer is a great time to start.
You can buy it in a cheese or specialty section in most stores like Whole Foods. The lemons are preserved whole in salt and their own juice.
The taste is a bit tart but immensely lemony and bursting with flavor. The entire lemon is soft and edible and all you have to do is chop it up and remove the seeds.
There are many uses for preserved lemon beside a summer salad like stews and pasta. If you take the preserved lemon lunge, I will try to post a few recipes over the summer so none of your preserved lemons go to waste.
By the way, since the lemons are brined, they should have a long shelf life in your refrigerator. Hope you enjoy this preserved lemon dressing and four-course meal summer salad as much as I did.
Remember, anything goes in your salad. Each summer salad can be your perfect whole foods vegan plate by including a grain, legume, leafy greens, vegetables, fruit and a healthy fat.
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- ½ of one preserved lemon, chopped and seeds removed
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of cooked farro, quinoa or barley or a combination
- 1 head of lettuce
- 1 cup of chopped radicchio
- large handful of fresh spinach
- large handful of fresh kale ribbons, veins removed
- 1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans (rinsed if from carton or can)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 cups of your favorite vegetables, chopped (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc)
- Handful of golden raisins or dried fruit of your choice
- 2 plums, sliced or any summer fruit
- 4 tablespoons of hemp seeds (or sunflower)
- 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for salt or pepper.
- Start building your salad in a large bowl. Add greens. Sprinkle with grains. Add chickpeas, and remaining ingredients except hemp seeds.Toss lightly with preserved lemon vinaigrette and serve extra vinaigrette on the side. Top with hemp seeds