The sun in out all the time, days are longer, temperatures are rising. The hot weather is upon this corner of the world and it only means one thing in my kitchen: time to roll out more fresh and colorful salads! And more fresh juices. And more water/ice teas/lemonades. And more recipes with fresh fruits. Ok, so hot weather means a gazillion of changes when it comes to cooking and uncooking. I’ll just have to take them one at a time. Today it’s salad. Crunchy, juicy, full of all the good stuff and topped with even more good stuff.
There’s no science to making a delicious salad and you don’t have to follow my list of ingredients for this particular recipe. Roam your pantry and your fridge, see what you have available and try to get some leaves in it, something crunchy and something juicy. What I’d like to briefly mention is the pesto based salad dressing.
It’s the first time I add pesto to salad dressings (what planet have I lived on so far?) and I love it! I love the leafy-garlic-cheesy-nutty flavors it brings to the table and I think you should try it! If you can get your hands on some kale, use that. If not, use whatever leafy greens you have or go for a basil & parsley mix. All options are greenliciously delicious.
- a handful of lettuce, shredded
- 1 big kale leaf, stalk removed and chopped
- 1/3 capsicum, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 mushroom, finely sliced
- 1 green onion, finely sliced
- a handful of sprouts (optional and if you use make sure you get organic, safe sprouts)
- Top with seeds of choice (sesame seeds and pepitas are always a good choice)
- For the kale pesto dressing:
- 2 TBSP kale pesto (recipe below)
- 4 TBSP lemon juice
- 3 TBSP good olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard (recipe for home made mustard below)
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice (honey / maple syrup)
- chili flakes, optional
- sea salt and pepper, if needed
- For the kale pesto:
- 4-5 big kale leaves, stalks removed
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 5 TBSP lemon juice
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- chili flakes, optional
- nutritional yeast flakes (optional, gives a slight cheesy taste)
- Begin by making the pesto by adding all the ingredients to a food processor. Blitz away, scraping the sides if needed.
- Add 2 TBSP of pesto in a bowl and refrigerate the rest in an airtight jar (or freeze it for better keep).
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the salad dressing to the pesto and whisk until you get them combined. Set aside.
- Prepare your veggies. Slice ‘n dice them and add them to a big bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve fresh.
- Keeps well refrigerated for 1 day or 2.
If you’re new to sprouts and are considering introducing them into your diet, you can read about their health benefits & how to grow them here. If you’re considering purchasing sprouts, please read this. It’s very important to purchase safe sprouts.