Spring is finally here and with it brings along excitement and anticipation of warmer weather, outdoor activities, and of course, entertaining! All the beautiful colors are starting to burst forth from nature, so it only makes sense to create fresh, colorful salads with delicious veggies. We have put together five uniquely flavored salads that we hope find their way to your tables! They are perfect for ladies brunch, Spring picnics, or as a new addition to your lunchbox line up!
For those who have already packed their cold weather clothes into storage and sealed the lid on winter, we see you! We are excited for this new season too and what better recipes represent this time of year than bright, fresh salads. To kick-off this new season, why not try a few new salad recipes that are healthy and unique? They can be made hearty enough for a full meal or as the perfect side-dish to your favorite entrees. Just because salads are typically quick to make, it doesn’t mean that they won’t impress at your next brunch or dinner party.
Since salads can be so diverse with the possible ingredient combinations you can use, it can be a bit difficult to figure out what flavors will work well together beyond a typical garden salad. Luckily, we have friends who are amazing cooks and self-proclaimed foodies that share delicious and creative recipe ideas with us! We perused through some recent salad recipes and came up with five salads we know you and your family and friends will love!
SWEET AND SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD
If you didn’t know it before, Mini Cucumbers, pomegranates, and jalapenos, work harmoniously together and a great way to showcase this combination is in a fresh Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad. Our friend Megan, created this delicious recipe that screams Springtime feels with every bite. It’s juicy, sweet, full of nutrients and packs a kick – definitely a step up from a traditional leafy salad!
Putting it together is easy which is almost the best part! All you need to do is chop the cucumbers, dice a red onion, and mix both together in a bowl with pomegranate arils, some lime juice, and a pinch of salt until everything is combined. To add a fun, spicy twist, add some diced jalapeno to get that nice sweet and spicy flavor. For best taste results, mix ahead of serving time and allow your salad to marinate for 2-3 hours. Then just serve and enjoy!
MEDITERRANEAN ROASTED CHICKPEA SALAD
Who says salads aren’t filling enough to be a meal? Certainly not us! This salad seamlessly blends the classic flavors of the Mediterranean, with fresh ingredients. And the sweetest part of this Mediterranean Roasted Chickpea Salad is the Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes. Our friend, Lincy, brings you this refreshing, yet hearty salad that all your friends will want the recipe for.
There are 3 parts to preparing this salad. Roasting the chickpeas, preparing your veggies, and creating the dressing. To start, preheat your oven to 400° F and in a small bowl, toss chickpeas, with olive oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Evenly spread the seasoned chickpeas on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes. Once the chickpeas are browned, set aside to cool. (And try not to snack on them!)
In a jar or small bowl, combine olive oil, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper for the salad dressing. Either whisk or shake until emulsified. Super simple! Then once the chickpeas have cooled, combine tomatoes, spinach, feta, olives, and onion, in a medium bowl. Add the chickpeas into the mix. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve. It’s hearty yet still somehow light – this will make the perfect addition to your next brunch menu.
CUCUMBER FARRO SALAD
Unique, healthy, and delicious, this salad has the trifecta! Laura Ashley, has put together a well-rounded Cucumber Farro Salad recipe using a creative blend of ingredients. She has featured both Mini Cucumbers and Luna® Sweets Cocktail Tomatoes in this recipe which makes it pop with freshness and sweetness. Whether you plan to share this salad or not, you’ll want to make a big bowl and based on how scrumptious this recipe is, you’ll be glad you did.
Even though this recipe also includes a salad dressing, it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Just chop or dice the vegetables as needed and combine them with arugula, cooked farro, and olives in a large salad bowl. Then place all the dressing ingredients in a blender or jar with a tight-fitting lid, and blend or shake until well emulsified.
Take your homemade dressing, pour over the salad and toss until there is an even coating of dressing. Garnish with goat cheese and almonds for an extra pop of flavor and serve. It’s colourful, hearty, and delightful – a staple for any lunch! For a complete meal, top with grilled chicken or salmon filet.
ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
If you’re looking for a side dish where the flavors bring you back to the rustic Italian countryside, then this Italian Pasta Salad from our friend Elizabeth, is the perfect recipe for you. There is absolutely nothing bland about this wonderfully crafted pasta salad showcasing the vibrant colors and sweetness of Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers.
To get started, cook your favorite pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. While the pasta is cooking make the dressing by adding red wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and salt to a bowl. Gently combine and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. Then add olive oil, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes and whisk to combine.
Once everything is ready, combine cooked pasta with the mini peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella, artichokes, black olives, parmesan, parsley, and pepperoncini peppers in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and mix until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve. This is perfect to bring to your next pot-luck or pack for a nice sunny, Spring picnic!
PITA TOMATO SALAD
With so much sweetness in one bowl from the Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, you will almost forget that you are eating a salad, but desert. Our friend Eaman, has put together a simple, sweet Pita Tomato Salad recipe that’s full of crunch and that can be whipped up in no time!
To get started, preheat the oven to 400° F. to make your pita chips! Place pita squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss until coated. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.While they are baking, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Pulling this together is so easy! In a large bowl, combine tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Add in pita chips and toss again before serving and there you have it! Bon Appetit!
TRY SOMETHING NEW
As you can see the possibilities are pretty much endless when you start to think of all the ways you can use always-fresh, greenhouse grown vegetables. Flavor up your current line-up of recipes or try something new. We’re certain that these delicious new salad recipes shared by our foodie friends will have you ready to welcome Spring and start entertaining family and friends.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood. As you may already know, fresh greenhouse grown vegetables like Peppers, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes are full of essential Vitamins to fuel your body. Springtime is typically seen as a season of renewal and what better way to celebrate that than eating healthy foods to help the body feel energetic and filled with vitality. Topped with your favorite grilled protein for a complete meal or served as part of a full dinner menu, these salads are just a few of the ideas we have to help you Live Deliciously®!
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