Spring is edging out winter in some places faster than others. My local farmers market, Morningside Farmers Market has offered the most beautiful salad greens for weeks, it has been a mostly spring-like winter here in the South. I realized the beautiful salad greens will soon give way to other seasonal vegetables. Now is the time to get my salad green fix while they are abundant and incredibly tasty. Besides salad greens at my farmers market, carrots in all colors, fennel, sweet onions, parsley and mint are in full growing force. The makings of a salad are coming together. Oranges, still in season, another treat that will soon be replaced. An orange sherry vinaigrette seemed like the perfect compliment to the salad. I added some toasted almonds, chickpeas coated in cumin and coriander (tipping my hat to Feasting at Home for that idea), and parmesan cheese.
The recipe for my Spring Fennel Carrot Salad is below, but the variations are limitless. I also cooked up some quinoa that I could add to the salad. Of course, adding chicken or salmon and you have dinner.
A visit to your local farmers market is sure to get you looking forward to spring and inspiring creative salad ideas. I would love to hear what salad creations you are making from your local farmers market.
- 2 small heads of salad greens, washed and well dried, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 small head of fennel, sliced thinly with a mandoline
- 4 medium carrots, sliced thinly with a mandoline
- 1-2 small sweet spring onions, sliced thinly with a mandoline
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 16 oz.can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves, torn
- 3 sprigs of fresh parsley leaves, torn
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- for the dressing
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Juice from ½ orange
- 2 teaspoons honey
- salt and pepper
- In a small bowl mix chickpeas with coriander and cumin and a pinch of salt.
- In a large salad bowl, combine salad greens, carrots, fennel, spring onions, and 1 cup of chickpeas. Toss gently to mix.
- Make the salad dressing in a small jar. Add a pinch of salt, a few grindings of pepper, sherry vinegar, honey, and orange juice. Shake to combine. Add extra virgin olive oil and shake again.
- Use just enough dressing to lightly coat the salad greens, toss gently.
- Add almonds, mint, parsley and parmesan and toss.