Cook-with-what-you-Have Green Salad

Salads are superb templates. Sometimes all you need is a few greens lightly dressed. But sometimes a slightly more substantial green salad with crunch, a little sweetness, and maybe a little spice is in order.  In the winter you might make this heartier one.

 

You will need to taste and adjust your version to balance the tart and sweet and crunch as ingredients vary widely. Add a pinch of sugar if your dried fruit is quite tart.

 

Variations

  • Use thinly sliced sweet peppers, snap or snow peas, kohlrabi, celery or cucumbers instead of or in addition to the carrots.
  • Add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes.
  • Use whatever toasted seeds or nuts (roughly chopped) you have.
  • Substitute large, toasted bread crumbs or small croutons for the nuts/seeds

 

Serves 4

 

8 cups romaine or other head lettuce of your choice or a combination of arugula and lettuce

2 medium carrots, grated

2 scallions, white and green parts very thinly sliced

1/2 cup tender herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 cup toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts or pecans, roughly chopped or pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1/3 cup dates, chopped (or dried apricots, cranberries, golden raisins)

1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno or other fresh hot pepper (or add some chili flakes or dried chili to the dressing)

 

Dressing:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or vinegar of your choice or lemon juice), more to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil, more to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinegar, oil and salt and pepper and toss well, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

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