Is it fruit salad, or green salad? Doesn't matter how you classify it, this delightful hybrid – with its fresh and dried fruit, nuts, cheese, and fresh springtime greens – is just plain tasty.
Not only that – it offers you all the benefits of those bright-colored fruits and vegetables you KNOW you're supposed to eat, but never quite get around to. Combine them all in one big bowl, and you're that much closer to your daily goals for fiber, the key vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants.
Another benefit – this recipe can be adjusted to feed just one person – you! – or a full-kitchen brunch crowd. Without specific amounts of ingredients (except for the vinaigrette dressing), it's up to you how much salad you want to make.
Let's get started. First, buy some mixed greens. You'll often see these in a large container at the supermarket, labeled "spring mix," or something similar. These colorful mixes usually contain some combination of baby kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, and red and green leaf lettuces.
Next, rustle up your main fruits: strawberries, and clementines or tangerines. Prefer blueberries or raspberries? Want to use up some oranges, rather than buy clementines? That's just fine. Just make sure to pick fruits with brightly colored flesh (as opposed to apples, bananas, etc.).
You'll want some fun garnishes, things you can scatter atop the salad for both looks and flavor. Dried fruit is always a plus: think cranberries, chopped apricots, cherries or dates, for instance. Toasted nuts are delicious, and add crunch.
And then there's cheese – crumbles of creamy goat cheese, a few shavings of lusty Parmesan, or a diced mild cheese like Monterey Jack all pair just fine with both fruits and salad greens.
Finally, whip up your simple vinaigrette, a dressing the won't overwhelm your salad's flavors, but will simply complement them. Shake together 3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil; 1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar; 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard.
For berry vinaigrette, microwave a tablespoon or so of berry jelly or seedless jam until it liquefies; then stir it into the vinaigrette. These amounts make enough for 8 servings or so of salad.
OK, we're ready to toss this salad together. Combine the greens, chopped strawberries, and sectioned, seeded, chopped clementines in a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Heap salad on individual serving plates, garnishing with dried fruits, nuts, and cheese.Enjoy!
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Breast cancer survivor and award-winning author PJ Hamel, a long-time contributor to the HealthCentral community, counsels women with breast cancer through the volunteer program at her local hospital. She founded and manages a large and active online survivor support network.