Katie’s Healthy Bites: Get Fresh Salad Ideas

by in Uncategorized, June 12, 2011
Spring Salads
Spring Salad With Buttermilk Dressing - Image courtesy Food Network Magazine

The fruits of the harvest are always bursting with crispness and flavor, reminding us of the freshness of the season.  Here’s a quick guide to building a delicious, in-season salad from the bottom to the top. Read our tips, then tell us your favorite way to dress up greens.

Begin With Green:  If you are bored with baby spinach and salad greens, mix it up with escarole, endive, dandelion greens, baby beet greens, kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, radicchio or mache.

Add Some Color: Toss in sliced radishes, snap peas, artichokes, asparagus, baby portabellas, broccoli, shallots, spring onions (scallions) or leeks.

Fruit it Up! Depending on where you live, citrus fruits might still be in season! There’s still time to add some tang to your salad by adding fresh oranges, tangerines, grapefruits or fresh squeezed lemon juice. Toward the end of spring, berries like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries begin to ripen. These antioxidant-rich fruits will be a sweet addition to any savory salad.

Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs are here with the spring and can add flavor and pizzazz to when mixed in with any salad greens (like in Food Network Magazine‘s cilantro- and parsley-studded salad). Toss in sprigs of parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, dill or basil to give your salad some extra spice. Remember, a little goes a long way!

Can’t Forget the Crunch: Add a small handful of your favorite nut for additional protein and heart healthy fats.  If possible, go for raw and unsalted nuts to cut back on added oils and sodium.  Pecans, sliced almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pistachios are great additions to any spring salad. Mung bean, alfalfa and broccoli sprouts are also in season and are a great way to add crunch (and vitamin C) to your salad!

Pack on the Protein: Make your salad a complete meal with a protein-rich topping. Add a hard-boiled, poached or fried egg and leave the drippy yolk to act as a natural dressing.  Or crumble a little of a flavorful cheese like ricotta salata, shaved parmesan, gorgonzola or goat cheese on top for added flavor and calcium.  Seafood and shellfish pair well with citrus, and meats like prosciutto and pancetta crisp up nicely and crumble as a perfectly salty topping to finish your masterpiece. Cooked beans such as garbanzo, cannellini, fava or black beans are also a great addition for vegan or vegetarian salads.

Garnish:  Let edible flowers be the finishing touch to your spring masterpiece.  Pansies, bachelor’s buttons, carnations, chive blossoms and nasturtiums are all beautiful and blossoming this spring! Just make sure the flowers are safe to eat before adding them to the top of your salad!

A Few Mix-and-Match Salad Combos to Try:
• Arugula or watercress, tangerines, shallots, goat milk cheese and sliced almonds
• Mixed baby greens, fresh strawberries, gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans
• Baby spinach, artichokes, tuna, sauteed mushrooms and kalamata olives

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. Leslie Peck also contributed to this article.

What’s your favorite market-fresh salad combo?  Tell us in the comments below.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

What does skinny taste like? Just ask Gina Homolka. For six years, low-fat foodie Gina Homolka has been satisfying the tastebuds of a loyal following ...

Comments (9)

  1. Dan says:

    Perfect timing! I start my low carb diet today and this is going to for sure help…Thanks!

  2. Dianabol says:

    Salad is very healthy for us vegetable salad contains lots of vitamins and minerals. it is best diet food because it does not contains calorie and fat. Thanks for the sharing these with us.

  3. […] Fantastic: 20 Healthy Summer Salad RecipesCooking Lite – What are some healthy salad recipe’sFresh Spring Salad Recipes function dropdown_post_js(menuObj) { var i = menuObj.selectedIndex; if(i > 0) { […]

  4. When I first saw this title Fresh Spring Salad Recipes | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog on google I just whent and bookmark it. Be glad of lifestyle due to the fact it gives you the chance to enjoy, to perform, to play, and to seem up at the stars.

  5. Readers who have bothered to read this response thus far SHOULD ACCESS the explicit extract from the old testament Andrew Yiannides has been pointing to for decades as reproduced at human rights dot org [Link].

  6. Hello, I really adore the way u wrote the thing… maybe u could come to my internet page and make a few advices. thx in advance :)

  7. th6ij2mb says:

    you have a terrific blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  8. th6ij2mb says:

    you have a terrific blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  9. th6ij2mb says:

    you have a terrific blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>