Eat Pretty Things––spring salads that are as beautiful as they are delicious

Since the first day of Spring, I have made a pretty little salad every afternoon for lunch, or as a light start to dinner. When it comes to leafy green things on a plate, I like to keep the presentation whimsical––lots of vibrant color, light and airy greens and sprouts, and dainty textures.

I hardly mess with making dressings anymore, and instead lightly pair with robust, fervently flavored oils, a pinch or two of sea salt, fresh torn and snipped herbs, and cracked black pepper.

Of late, I am really into Bariani’s early harvest extra virgin olive oil, the oil of pumpkinseed, and my ultimate favorite––the viscous extraction of avocado flesh––buttery, vibrant green, and well, made from avocado. Need I say more?

Celtic or Hawaiian red sea salt have been sprinkled atop every bountiful plate, and the herbs I have been reaching for these days are dill, cilantro, mint, basil, parsley, and tarragon. Edible flowers, even if only a few such as violas, and nasturtiums add delicacy, and have deeply nourishing properties. The same can be said for the blossoms of flowering vegetables such as broccoli, kale, mustard, and onions––a pinch here or there of the tiny buds goes a long way.

When preparing a spring salad, go nuts with sprinkly things, and a variety of greens and sprouts! I particularly like pea shoots, sunflower, and bright red amaranth sprouts. If you don’t use all of the sprouts you purchase, add them to grain bowls, juices, and smoothies for depth, vibrancy, and a nutrient boost.

There is no set recipe I wish to share for your salad making, rather I invite you to use the recipe below as inspiration–-a template if you will meant to be altered to satisfy your every whim!

Makes: 2 salads

Ingredients:

2 handfuls mixed lettuces (mâche, wild arugula, baby chard, dandelion, mizuna, purslane, watercress, tatsoi,)

8-10 olives (Castelvetrano, Kalamata, sun-dried botija)

1/2 avocado

small handful mixed herbs, torn (mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, tarragon)

small handful micro greens

small handful sprouts

3-6 edible flowers, or a pinch of flowering vegetable blossoms

2 teaspoons salted capers

1 tablespoon seeds (sesame, poppy, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, pine nut)

1 tablespoon nuts, crushed (Marcona almond, pistachio, cashew, pecan, walnut, hazelnut)

2 tablespoons unfiltered oil (avocado, pistachio, olive, pumpkin, hemp, black sesame)

pinch sea salt

cracked black pepper

Favorite accompaniments such as pickled vegetables, soft-boiled egg, sauerkraut, roasted potatoes or vegetables, sprouted beans, cooked grains, hummus, etc.

Preparation:

Place greens on the center of a plate. Rest olives and accompaniments next to the lettuces on one side. On the other, place a wedge of avocado. Top greens with herbs, micro greens, and sprouts. Sprinkle on a few capers, seeds, and nuts. Drizzle with oil, and finish with blossoms, a pinch of sea salt, and cracked black pepper. You may also like to drizzle on tahini or raw honey depending on your use of ingredients.