Bold statement, I know. Truthfully this has been my go-to salad since all the wonderful spring produce started to peek out from under the winters ground. The Ultimate Spring Salad embraces some of my favorite flavors of spring in one beautiful and nourishing bowl of goodness. Visually, it’s a stunner, but nutritionally speaking it’s also a stunner. It’s loaded with healthy fats, fiber, plant-based protein, and is incredibly nutrient dense from all the dark leafy greens and in-season produce.
You all know I’m a fan of keeping it simple and letting the whole food flavors naturally shine through- this is a perfect example of Nutrition Stripped food style. The wonderful thing about this salad, it’s paired with a creamy and citrusy dressing that can easily be replaced with another dressing of your choosing depending on your mood for that day. Sometimes I simply pair it with fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil or add Sweet Basil Dressing- all great options!
Most of the farmers’ markets are in full swing here in Nashville, which is amazing because most of these ingredients in the Ultimate Spring Salad are readily available; not just that they’re available, but they’re perfectly ripe, in season, and the flavors are outstanding. There’s no other month I look forward to as much as May when I can spend long afternoons or early mornings skimming the overflowing baskets of greens and fresh produce from the farmers here, it’s an absolute simple pleasure and delight I wouldn’t trade for anything! I’ll have to take you all on a farmers market day with me sometime via video…sound good?
Spring produce at it’s finest. In this Ultimate Spring Salad you’ll find some star players of springs bounty including arugula, spring peas, asparagus (my favorite), shallot, strawberries, fennel, and radish; topped with a fresh lemon tahini dressing. I call that perfection. I love the combination of incredibly sweet and juicy strawberries with the spicy and zesty arugula, crispy and bitter fennel, doused with a bright and nutty flavored lemon tahini dressing. It’s truly a celebration of spring in a bowl.
If you’ve never used fennel in a raw salad, then you’re in for a treat. Fennel gives this salad an incredible hearty crunch and also is slightly sweet and super refreshing. It’s loaded with vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper and calcium. A quick tip when working with fennel, to use the bulbs for this recipe simple cut off the stalks with the greens and set aside, you’ll want to rinse the bulb very well as sand and grit can fall in between the layers. No one wants a grainy salad!
Make it a meal | you can certainly enjoy this salad as a beautiful side dish to your main course or it can serve as an entree on it’s own. Here are some additions/variations to stir in to make it a more hearty meal:
- Add 1 whole avocado
- Add 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or any other seed you enjoy
- Add 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds (yields about 10g of protein!)
- Add hard boiled eggs for another boost in good fat and protein
- Add smoked salmon or any other wild caught fish you enjoy
- Add 1/2-1 cup chickpeas or lentils
- Add organic tempeh or tofu
- Add 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa for a protein rich carbohydrate
You see, there are many ways to add either healthy fats, carbohydrates, protein, or all of the above to make it a well balanced, satisfying and delicious meal in a bowl. Y’all know how much I love my meals in a bowl from my Nourish Bowl and the One Bowl Skillet Meal, this is simply another way to enjoy your salads.
- 5 oz fresh arugula
- 1 cup fennel bulb, sliced thinly
- 1 cup (about 12 stalks) asparagus, chopped
- 1 cup radishes, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
- DRESSING //
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste
- First, you’ll want to prep all your produce by thoroughly washing and rinsing (especially the arugula, fennel, and romaine as these can be very sandy). Next, you’ll want to steam the asparagus in a steamer or use the microwave until fork tender.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except for the dressing) and stir until everything is evenly spread out.
- For the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. You may also just use a small bowl and a whisk.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until all the ingredients are coated in the dressing. You may also keep the dressing separate until serving for later.
- Enjoy at room temperature/chilled.
What’s your favorite spring veggie listed in this salad? I love them all it was so easy to use them all in this recipe, share below what your favorite spring veggies and fruits are!
Hope you all enjoy this one and have a beautiful day,