Truthfully…it’s hard to have only one salad in the top spot, so I’m claiming that this salad has earned the right to be in the top 5 at least. It’s refreshing, gourmet, stylin’ and everyone will want seconds and thirds because the chewy, crunchy, savory and sweet will have you begging for more.
Spring and Summer are popular seasons for enjoying salads. This one is perfect for any occasion, whether you want to:
~ Make yourself a gorgeous salad. (It can be a “starter” for your meal or the whole meal itself.)
~ Serve it to your family. (Get many “oohs and ahhs” while you’re at it.)
~ Show it off to friends. (This salad gives you total bragging rights! It’ll make you very popular.)
I served this for the salad course at my last Mandala Dinner event, and probably received the same number of emails requesting this recipe as I did for the Spinach Thyme Soup Recipe (available in May’s email newsletter – sign up here).
Making the Salad: There are few components you’ll need to make in advance, so plan accordingly. I’m known for bragging that my ebooks and recipes are EASY and FAST! Even though this recipe involves a little more work than the typical chopping found in a salad, the work is acceptable for two reasons…1) the salad is a-freakin’-mazing and 2) the work you do for a couple of the items (seeds and leeks) is for making components to the salad that can be stored for future salads; hence, the second, third and maybe fourth time you make the salad, you’ll only toss together the dressing and leafy greens.
You’ll need the following for each small serving of salad:
2 cups spring mix lettuce
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Sweet Vanilla Rain Sunflower Seeds (in my Sides-n-Snacks ebook)*
1 tablespoon Dried Leeks (recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons Olive Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)
*You can use any sweetened raw, sprouted and dehydrated seeds, but this simple recipe of mine is one of the main components that brings this salad together. (Special flavors!)
Dried Leeks: Slice 2-3 leeks very thinly, rinse well and place in a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Place the leeks in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt. Let these marinate for about 15-minutes. Transfer them to a dehydrator tray (shaking off any excess oil over the bowl beforehand) and dehydrate until crispy – which is approximately 10-15 hours. Note: Make extra dried leeks so you have plenty on hand. Store them in a glass mason jar in your refrigerator for future salads and soups.
Olive Vinaigrette Dressing
Yield 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (or any olives of your choice)
Blend all of the ingredients for the dressing except for the basil and olives. Add the basil and olives, and pulse your blender to break them up, but not to blend them completely. This gives the dressing a lovely texture and color. Put your salads together with all of the ingredients above and enjoy!