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Red Cabbage and Microgreen Salad with Citrus and Pomegranate Seeds

During pomegranate season, these sweet-tart seeds go into many many salads for both color and flavor. Before local lettuces start appearing, I go searching for other interesting greens. My current favorite is microgreens – especially the broccoli or arugula microgreens. Delicate and tender, they are still packed with green nutrition. Microgreens are usually available at Whole Foods. A number of Vineyard growers now have them as well, including Morning Glory Farm, The Hub at Thimble Farm (sold in Cronig’s) and Mermaid Farm. Check them out!

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Lemony Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Elegant and delicious, this salad will win raves. The method for roasting canned artichoke hearts to rekindle their flavor was suggested by a chef and friend, Tina Miller. This salad tastes and looks best on the day it’s made.

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Carrot Cranberry Almond Salad

The bright orange carrots with parsley and dried cranberries makes for a
festive salad.  Add a delicious reduced-fat dressing made with freshly
squeezed orange juice and you have a satisfying and cooling salad full of
vitamins, crunch and sweetness. Perfect for potlucks or as a substitute for
coleslaw

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Spring Watercress and Quinoa Salad

This is one of my personal favorites. Friends often request this quinoa salad and I happily oblige because it’s a snap to make and goes well with everything. The quinoa cooks in 12-14 minutes, and just a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil seasons it perfectly.

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Thai Chicken Salad with Pea Shoots and Peanut Dressing

Since the pea shoots are delicate, I usually pass the dressing at the table and let guests spoon over. Variations abound: noodles or grains such as quinoa for vegetarians or different market vegetables, such as asparagus, radishes, red peppers, spring onions, fresh mint or basil. Add a little spice to the dressing, if desired, with sriracha or sweet chili sauce.

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Ruby Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Fig Dressing

Earthy and sweet flavors mingle in this versatile and tasty salad. The color comes from raw beets grated and added to the quinoa.  A dressing of orange, lemon and lime citrus with a dollop of fig spread or honey adds a fresh, sweet note.  I’ve had several beet skeptics try the salad and pronounce it delicious.

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Summer Grain Salad with Tomato and Corn

In summer, perfectly ripe tomatoes, fresh corn kernels, fragrant torn basil and fresh mozzarella mingled with small kernels of grain is a winning combination that goes with nearly everything on a summer table. The combination is good with penne pasta, but healthier and more flavorful with a whole grain, such as farro, spelt, wheat berries etc. If you have herbs from the garden – anything from mint, oregano, chives, dill – add a few tablespoons.

 

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Strawberry Watercress and Feta Salad

So simple, with just three ingredients – but yet beautiful and tasty – a spring salad to celebrate. At this time of year, check your yard for the tiny, edible violet flowers to make a contrasting garnish.

 

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Chopped: A Very Veggie Spring Dinner Salad with Roasted Smoked Salmon

Green and fresh, the crisp romaine, salmon, snap peas, radish, avocado and red onion make this more than a simple salad. Yet with using packaged or store-prepared smoked salmon (not the sliced salmon, but a chunkier, meatier version – see cook’s note), the only cooking is the 10-minute hard-boiled egg and a quick blanch of snap peas. Serve as a spring or summer dinner salad for 4, or stow away a portion in the fridge, undressed, for the next day’s lunch. Do not be tempted to use bottled dressing here and miss the brightness of this mustard-lemon-honey dressing – so easy to make.

 

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Seared Salmon with Baby Greens and Mango Salsa Vinaigrette

By transforming a mango salsa into a vinaigrette, you have a both a dressing and a sauce for the fish and leafy greens. This sweet, spicy salsa vinaigrette will complement any chicken or fish dishes that favor mangoes and tomatoes, such as shrimp, halibut and swordfish.

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

One of our frequent outdoor vacation destinations is Bethel, Maine, home of Sunday River Ski Resort and one of our favorite eating spots: Café DiCocoa. The vegetarian café’s ever-changing breakfast and lunch menu can include fresh peach scones, homemade bagels, vegetable frittatas, soups and a variety of salads, all made with fresh ingredients by a very creative chef/owner, Cathi DiCocco. One café favorite is this combo of roasted sweet potatoes, corn and black beans with a uniquely delicious chipotle-sweet chile sauce dressing. You can also find the recipe in Raising the Salad Bar, and in the few years since the book came out, many people have told me how much they love the flavors in this dish.

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Winter Citrus Salad

This is a favorite cold-weather salad – it’s light and refreshing with juicy sections of orange and pink grapefruit. Any salad greens can be used, but more peppery greens like arugula, watercress, and frisee have an affinity to sweet citrus.

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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn and Edamame

I first made this salad for a teachers’ appreciation day at the West Tisbury School on Martha’s Vineyard, and from the raves I got I knew I needed to record what I had done. It’s light, crunchy and colorful, but it is also packed with some of the most nutritious foods out there – quinoa, beans and vegetables. (Quinoa provides both calcium and iron, as well as protein, and more.) It’s great year-round – for BBQ’s or potlucks – or at home with chicken, fish or a Mexican-themed meal. For leftovers, it makes a healthy lunch.

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