Quick, satisfying, colorful, seasonal, nutritionally rich. Isn’t that how you want to eat on a warm day? You’ll likely be able to get this salad on the table in 20 minutes or so. Make the lemon-mint dressing while the corn steams, then it’s just a matter of slicing and arranging. Yes, arrange the little salads elegantly, but don’t be too fussy as this meal is meant to be casual. I’m providing a recipe, but it’s just a template–make a similar salad with whatever you have available or like best. Take a photo of your salad and email it to me so I can post it. I’m sure other readers would love to know how you put yours together. Detailed recipes after the jump.
COMPOSED VEGGIE SALAD WITH LEMON-MINT DRESSING
2 generous handfuls of arugula, or other greens of your choice, washed and dried
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced (and sprinkled with salt, if you like), or a cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, trimmed, shredded and sprinkled with fresh lemon juice
1 large cob of corn, shucked, kernels cut off. Steam 4-5 minutes, then sprinkle with a bit of salt, olive oil and ume boshi vinegar
1 cup cooked kidney beans (canned are fine), drained and dressed with a few drops of olive oil and ume boshi vinegar
4 very thin slices of red onion
6 very thin slices of red bell pepper
6-8 fresh basil leaves, torn
12-15 Kalamata olives, or olives of choice, optional
olive oil, ume boshi vinegar, salt and pepper, to taste
a few sprigs of mint or additional basil to garnish, optional
Until this point, the salad is vegan, but if you’re not strictly vegan, you could add shaved parmesan cheese, a peeled and quartered hard-cooked egg, or the contents of a small can of tuna fish. However you like it, it’s a satisfying light meal. Email photos of your salad to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Wash and dry the greens, if necessary. Wash and prep all the veggies.
2. Toss the greens with 2-3 teaspoons dressing and mound half of them on each of two dinner plates. Scatter red onion and bell pepper slices on top.
3. Arrange the tomato slices around the edges or scatter the cherry tomatoes. In the middle, place little mounds of kidney beans, corn, and shredded carrot. Scatter the basil on the tomato, and mint leaves about. Drizzle dressing over all. Enjoy!
For the dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup rice syrup or sweetener of choice, or to taste (likely you will use less of other sweeteners, as they are more intense)
3-4 sprigs fresh mint
1 1/2 cups lightly-flavored olive oil or a combination of olive oil and canola oil, or as needed
salt and pepper, ume boshi vinegar to taste
Place all ingredients except the oil in a blender. Blend until well puréed. Open the trap-door top of the blender. Turn on the blender again and drizzle in the oil until the dressing reaches the consistency you prefer. Taste and adjust seasoning. This recipe makes much more dressing than you will need, but it’s so useful to have homemade dressing on hand. Store excess dressing in a screw-top jar and shake well before using again!