ALL HAIL the arrival of SALAD SEASON!
I love a good salad alllll year round, but there's something about a perfect summer day and a huge salad for lunch or dinner! A couple of weeks ago I posted my Everyday Apple Sauce Vinaigrette, and that's the exact dressing I would suggest for this stunner of a salad.
This combo of flavors and textures will make all of your lunch dreams come true. Fresh crispy greens topped with sweet strawberries, tangy goat cheese, crunchy pumpkin seeds, shallots, chickpeas, and quinoa!
And if you make some quinoa and the salad dressing early in the week, the rest is as easy as grabbing stuff out of the fridge for tasty salads at your fingertips all week long.
I've shared this before, but I'll share it again! For me, there's a very exact salad science that goes into creating the perfect bowl-o-greens. And when I say very exact salad science, I really mean some loose guidelines that I sometimes follow.
Perfect Salad Science:
Greens: Mix it up! I've been on the mesclun mix/kale train lately. Fresh loose leaf lettuce, massaged kale, arugula, whatever you like!
Veggies & Fruits: Pick 2-3. Raw, roasted, grilled veggies. Berries, apples, citrus, be adventurous.
Onions: A must, if you ask me. You pick: green, red, sweet, caramelized, pickled, shallots
Protein: If it's a main dish. Preferably something grilled! Feel free to leave off if it's a side.
Nuts/Crunch: Pepitas, walnuts, pecans, tortilla strips, croutons, sunflower seeds, pistachios
Starch: Optional, but some roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, or something like quinoa/farro/barley can really take some salads to the next level of heartiness!
Cheese: Optional. If you do dairy and you want to throw in some cheese, go for it! I love to use feta or goat cheese -- they are super flavorful so you don't need to use much!
Dressing : Get creative, keep it fresh, throw in seasonal ingredients! I'll do another post sometime on my very exact salad dressing formula - but the basics are, about equal parts of oil and vinegar (or other acid) + whatever other flavors/seasonings you want. I usually go heavier on the vinegar/acid/add-ins than I do on the oil, and I always blend dressings with my immersion blender for max emulsion (especially handy for blending up berries or other flavor add-ins)!
Strawberry, Quinoa, & Goat Cheese Salad
Mixed greens or lettuce of your choice (2-3 cups per person)
Chickpeas, drained (1/4 cup per person)
Quinoa, cooked (1/4 cup per person)
Strawberries, sliced (2-3 per person)
Crumbled goat cheese (1-2 Tbsp per person)
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (1-2 Tbsp per person)
Shallot, thinly sliced (~1/2 - 1 Tbsp per person)
Arrange a big pile of mixed greens on each plate or bowl.
Top each salad with chickpeas, quinoa, strawberries, goat cheese, pepitas, and shallots.
Drizzle with the Everyday Apple Sauce Vinaigrette and DIG IN!.