As I look out the window right now I am amazed by the most gorgeous blue sky and glorious sunshine that graces my world…. spring is quickly approaching!! And for that I am greatly relieved! If you live in much of the lower 48 I am sure you are feeling pretty much the same way, as this has truly been a doozy of a winter. As the days get longer and the skies brighter I find myself craving lighter foods as well… gone is the deep-seated desire for thick hearty soups. Instead I currently desire the fresh tastes of spring… salads, citrus, light soups, and yes maybe a bit of crusty bread to soak up each and every delectable morsel. So today I am going to share a favorite of mine with you. It is quick, easy, and all the ingredients are readily available this time of year.
I have to be honest here… this is more of a formula rather than a recipe because once the desire for clean eating hits I do not want to spend long hours in preparation. So a simple spring salad is our answer… one that varies with what we have on hand.
Our go to is quite simple…
Thinly sliced carrots (I use the vegetable peeler to make them paper thin.)
Honeyed nuts (we switch back and forth between almonds & pecans currently)
Optionals: pears, oranges, fresh berries such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or avocado. (but we always have one of these on the salad)
3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar/acid (white wine vinegar or fresh squeezed orange juice)
a dash of salt
a pinch of pepper
a pinch of garlic powder (a very small pinch so as not to overwhelm)
fresh herbs such as lemon thyme, parsley, tarragon, finely diced
½ cup roughly chopped nuts of choice
1 Tbsp local honey
Place nuts and honey in a small pan over high heat. Stir until honey is melted and coats nuts. Take off heat, spread on parchment paper to cool. Break apart and sprinkle on salad. Can be added while still warm but it does make the salad wilt.
Roasted chicken can be added to make this more filling. My personal favorite is to make a vinaigrette and add 1 Tbsp of grapefruit marmalade and serve over a salad of spinach, romaine, cucumbers, supremed blood oranges/grapefruit, and avocado with a sprinkling of honeyed almonds. I am also a bit of a pepper and cheese freak so it is not all that uncommon to discover freshly grated pepper and a sprinkling of of parmesan slivers or crumbles of feta on my salad.
I hope you enjoy!