Fresh Plates: Keeping It Green

This summer, I plan to periodically give a nod to creative salads and other fresh foods that are quick, healthy, and sure to please. We begin this journey with a green salad featuring some of spring's finest offerings. The result is a green salad that's anything but boring. Tender fresh spinach leaves get tossed with crunchy cucumbers and lightly steamed asparagus before a simple dressing brings it all together. It's fast, easy, and amazing.

This is the kind of salad I love serving alongside grilled meat. In fact, if I happen to have a steak and grilled mushrooms, this salad might be the only other thing I add to my plate! If you are looking to take it along to a potluck, mix the greens and the dressing in advance, but keep them separate until it's time to go - the spinach will wilt too much if you dress it too early. For me, this salad can also become a main dish item if I'm lucky enough to have some seared salmon or tuna to slice and lay over it. When things get too warm for my tastes, that's a perfect lunch or light dinner for me!

If you are looking for a particularly creative way to enjoy this salad, soften some rice paper wrappers and tuck some inside to make your own fun summer rolls to have alongside other finger food or an Asian-inspired menu. If you want to make them ahead of time for a lunch on the go, make sure you spray the inside of a container with a bit of water so that the rolls will not stick to the container. Then, find a nice spot for a picnic and enjoy!

Spring Green Salad

  • 6 c. loosely torn fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ English cucumber, halved and sliced into thin pieces
  • 6 oz. asparagus, trimmed and lightly steamed
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • A turn of freshly ground black pepper

Combine the spinach, cucumber, and steamed asparagus in a large serving bowl. Set aside.

Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a resealable jar. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Pour over the greens and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

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