Yes, we pick fresh from our garden so you don't have too...
First up, the Crisp Cucumber.
There are a million variations to this bowl of love. If you’re not into lime and cilantro or parsley, try lemon and dill. If you’re not into mayo, try using yogurt. Or, skip the creamy dressing entirely. You could make a Tex-Mexish variation with minced jalapeno, olive oil and ground cumin, or a Japanese-ish version with a dressing of toasted sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar, ginger and garnished with toasted black and/or white sesame seeds. And if that’s still not enough to get you started, be warned that salads this simple might lead to you to add another dish, and then another, and then you'll be eating salad at every meal!!!
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
3/4 to 1 pound seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks
2 thin or 1 regular scallions, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons mayonaise
Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste
Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to garnish
Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with cilantro or parsley. Repeat again tomorrow.
Next in line, the Zestful Zucchini
1. Cut the zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Hold the zucchini firmly at the tip and draw the peeler down. Transfer the ribbons to a large bowl.
2. Add the thyme and oregano to the zucchini ribbons; toss to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice; toss to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the mustard. Gradually add the olive oil mixture to the zucchini and toss until the salad is well dressed.
4. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Serve topped with shards of Parmesan
In comes the Tender Tomato
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 3 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if small or cut into 1/2-inch wedges if medium or large
Whisk together vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified. Add tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Last but not least, our Killer Kale
The key to this salad is finely chopping (or shredding) the kale. The lemon garlic dressing will coat each and every tiny piece of kale, working its magical softening powers and infusing it with so much flavour. Instead of cheese, I topped the salad with my homemade toasted pecan "Parmesan" topping and a handful of dried sweetened cranberries. The result is one of the BEST ever kale salads I've tried to date. No joke. Two bunches of dinosaur kale might seem like a lot, but once it's shredded, it only makes about 8 cups and then it further reduces in volume as it marinates by almost half. If you are making this salad for more than 4 people, I suggest doubling it. I felt like I could've had half of the lot just on my own...
FOR THE SALAD & DRESSING:
- 2 medium bunches destemmed Lacinato/dinosaur kale, finely chopped (8 cups chopped)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (just eyeball it)
- 1-2 handfuls dried sweetened cranberries, for garnish
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
- 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pinches fine grain sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Remove the stems from the kale and discard (you can save for smoothies if you are hard core!). Finely chop the kale leaves (the smaller, the better!).
- Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl.
- For the dressing: In a mini food processor, process the garlic until minced. Now add the lemon, oil, salt, and pepper and process until combined. Adjust to taste, if desired. Pour the dressing onto the kale and mix it into the kale with your hands or toss with spoons. Keep mixing for about 1 minute to ensure everything is coated perfectly.
- For the pecan parm: Rinse out the mini processor and pat dry. Add the pecans into the processor and process until the pecans are the size of peas or a bit larger. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process again until it's a coarse crumb. Be sure not to over-process - we still want a nice crunchy texture here, not powder.
- Sprinkle the pecan Parmesan all over the salad. Toss on a handful or two of dried cranberries. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to soften. I tried letting this salad sit overnight in the fridge and I greatly preferred the flavour of the salad served the day of, so I don't recommend making this salad the day before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
Note: 1) Instead of a mini processor, you can chop/whisk the dressing and pecan "parmesan" by hand. 2) For a nut-free version, try using breadcrumbs instead of pecans.