By Freya Bellin
Fresh leafy greens are among spring’s treasures. Arugula, mustard greens, and spinach all abound at the farmers market these days, and there’s no better way to honor these flavorful greens than with a simple salad.
Summer fruits like raspberries and strawberries are great salad ingredients, but while we’re still waiting for berries and stone fruit to grace us with their presence, you can use apples and pears or dried fruits for this salad. I tossed red mustard greens with thinly sliced apples and chopped dried dates. The combination was sweet, spicy, and quite refreshing. Try the cheese and nut variation if you’re looking for a bit more heft. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Tossed Greens with Fruit and Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Sweet and sharp, light but a bit more substantial than a plain green salad, yet perhaps a bit more interesting than the typical lettuce-cuke-tomatoes-carrots.
Stay seasonal: stone fruit or berries in the summer; grapes, pears, or apples in fall; and either citrus, pineapple, or dried fruit through the winter—of course, a combination is good too. For a more elaborate version, see the following recipe.
About 1 pound fresh fruit (or 1 cup dried fruit), singly or in combination
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1 large shallot, thinly sliced, optional
1 to 3 teaspoons Dijon or other good-quality mustard
Salt and black pepper
8 cups mixed greens (like mesclun), torn into bite-size pieces
1. Peel and core the fruit if necessary and remove any seeds or pits. If large, cut the fruit into 1⁄2-inch chunks. Toss the fruit with the lemon juice, then cover and refrigerate while you make the dressing.
2. Put the oil, vinegar, shallot if you’re using it, mustard, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the fruit and greens and toss until everything is well distributed and evenly coated with dressing. Serve immediately.
Tossed Greens with Fruit, Nuts, and Cheese Vinaigrette. Instead of the mustard, use 1⁄4 cup crumbled goat, feta, or blue cheese, or grated Parmesan and whisk until the cheese thickens the dressing (just a minute or so). Toss the salad and top with 1⁄2 cup toasted pine nuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts.