The signs are everywhere: Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and temperatures are warming—thank goodness it’s spring!
Just as we threw off the heavy layers of our winter wardrobes, so too is it time to lighten and brighten our diets before summer comes in hot. If you’re in the mood to add some “spring greening” to your menu, 24Life has compiled three colorful and delicious salad recipes that will give you even more reasons to take advantage of the season.
Peaches and Greens
Ellen Penner, MPH, RD
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 minutes
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups baby spring mix
- 2 large tomatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 ripe peaches, cut into bite-size chunks
- 4 ounces burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese (packaged in water)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- sea salt and pepper, optional
For the balsamic reduction, pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula, until vinegar is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer into a small pitcher or glass bottle, and set aside.
Meanwhile, layer greens on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Add tomatoes and peaches and top with torn pieces of burrata or fresh mozzarella and mint. Drizzle with balsamic reduction, add sprinkle of coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.
Tip: Triple the balsamic vinegar and store the remaining reduction sauce in the fridge for future salads. With the balsamic reduction made ahead of time, you can whip up this salad in just five minutes.
Corn, Tomato and Bean Salad With Chips and Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
Dina Cheney, writer/recipe developer
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 30 minutes
- ½ cup finely chopped red onions
- ¼ cup fresh, strained lime juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 cups romaine or curly lettuce leaves, washed and spun dry
- 2 ears corn, kernels stripped (2 cups)
- 10 large baby tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole-grain tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
In a large bowl, whisk together onions, juice, oil, agave, mustard, chili powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. To bowl, add lettuce, corn kernels, tomatoes, beans and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt, and toss well. Divide among 2 or 4 plates or bowls, and divide chips among them. Serve immediately.
Blueberry Kale Salad
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Serves: 4| Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound), stemmed and cut into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup blueberries, divided
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- red or golden beets, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
- ⅓ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
In a large bowl, combine kale, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. With your hands, massage until leaves are dark and tender, about 1 minute. Remove to a serving platter or bowl.
In a blender, combine ½ cup blueberries, marmalade, remaining olive oil and remaining lemon juice. Blend until smooth. To kale, add beets, avocado, pumpkin seeds and remaining blueberries. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Photo credit: Elle Penner, MPH, RD