Spring is in the air! What better way to celebrate this season than enjoy the fruits of its labor? Salads are a great way to add missing nutrients and fiber into your body, and not to mention they’re delicious. With spring comes flavorful produce such as snap peas, strawberries, and greens, to list a few. Bektrom has compiled a list of our favorite spring salads incorporating seasonal produce for you to make and enjoy.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Strawberries and spinach are both perfectly in season during the spring, making them the perfect spring salad duo. You’ll have a sweet and savory bite with crunchy pecans and goat cheese until your bowl is empty.
- 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Loretta sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. Loretta ground black pepper
- 10-oz. baby spinach
- One lb. strawberry, halved or sliced
- Two oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
- Four oz. Goat cheese, crumbled
- Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, poppy seeds, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine.
- Before serving, add the spinach to a large bowl or platter; top with half of the strawberries and orange slices. Drizzle with half of the dressing; gently toss to coat. Top the salad with the remaining berries, orange slices, pecans, and goat cheese.
- Drizzle with your desired dressing amount, and serve the remainder on the side.
Barbecue Chicken Salad
Nothing says warm weather is here more than barbecuing. The barbecue chicken salad combines the best of both worlds with smoky sweetness from the barbecued chicken and fresh crispness with romaine lettuce hearts. Want more bold flavor in your chicken? Try rubbing down your chicken with Larry the Cable Guy BBQ Seasoning for a flavor boost.
- 1 1/2 c. of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1/4 c. apricot preserves
- One garlic clove
- Six skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. salted butter
- 2 cups frozen corn
- One 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1 lime
- Three romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
- One c. fresh cilantro leaves
- One c. cherry tomato halved
- One avocado, chopped
- 3/4 c. of your favorite ranch dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400 ̊. For the chicken: Pour the barbecue sauce into a medium saucepan, add the apricot preserves, and grate in the garlic. Heat the mixture over medium heat until piping hot. Remove 1/3 cup sauce to a bowl and set aside for when the chicken is done.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and add the chicken breasts skin-side up. Brush one tablespoon of sauce over each breast, then sprinkle each with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt.
- Roast the chicken in the oven for about 35 minutes, brushing each breast with about one tablespoon of sauce a couple of times. When the chicken is done, a thermometer inserted into the center will reach 165 ̊. Brush the chicken with the reserved sauce; let cool.
- For the salad: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the corn and cook until heated through 5 minutes. Add the black beans and lime juice and cook until hot, 2 minutes.
- Slice the chicken off the bone. Toss the lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and corn-bean mixture in a large bowl; toss with the ranch dressing. Divide the salad among bowls and top with the chicken.
Spring Green Salad
Green is spring’s color, so we chose an entirely green salad as one of our favorite picks. The highlight of this salad is the crisp snow peas that give a crunch to every bite.
- Three bunches (24 spears) of asparagus, woody ends snapped off (Note 1)
- 120g / 4oz snow peas (about 16 large or 20 smaller ones), trimmed and string removed
- One head baby gem or cos lettuce (aka romaine) washed (16 leaves, Note 2)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas (Note 3)
- 90g / 3oz goats cheese
- 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
- 1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp (30ml) lemon juice
- 6 tbsp (90ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add snow peas to the pot, and boil for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add the asparagus spears, and boil for another 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add frozen peas, and boil for another 30 seconds or until the water returns to a simmer and the peas turn bright green.
- Immediately drain, and refresh vegetables under cold running water until cooled to stop the cooking process.
- Remove the asparagus and snow peas, and blot them with paper towels to dry. Leave peas in the colander to drain, tossing them now and then to help them dry. (It’s vital to dry vegetables. Otherwise, it dilutes the dressing, and it won’t stick. You could use a salad spinner with care or just let them naturally dry, which is more manageable.)
- Split the more significant baby cos leaves down the middle, and use the small ones whole.
- Cut asparagus stems in half on a slight angle.
- Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar.
- Combine vegetables in a bowl, dress, and toss. Top with chunks of goat cheese.
Citrus Fruit Salad with Simple Syrup Dressing
Spring is a beautiful time for fruit as it is for vegetables. So switch out a savory salad for a sweet one, brightening your day with its bursts of citrus flavor.
- 1/2 c. sugar
- Juice of one red grapefruit and its zest
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- Three pink or red grapefruits
- One qt. strawberries, hulled and halved
- Four c. red grapes halved
- 1 pt. raspberries
- 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh mint
- For the syrup, stir over the sugar, ½ cup water, the grapefruit zest, juice, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes to thicken slightly. Set aside to cool.
- For the fruit: Cut the ends off the grapefruits. Separate the grapefruit membranes with a knife, removing the membrane and white pith. Add the segments to a large bowl. Add the strawberries and grapes. Remove the vanilla bean from the syrup, then pour the syrup over the fruit and toss. Chill until ready to serve or overnight.
- Before serving, add the raspberries and mint to the salad and toss gently.
Chipotle Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon
Romaine lettuce is in season starting in spring. What better way to showcase it than in a caesar salad? Build upon this classic side by adding chipotle and grilled salmon to elevate the salad to the next level.
- 9-ounce loaf of ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup and one tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup and two tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles)
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- One anchovy filet
- One garlic clove smashed
- Six 6-ounce skin-on salmon filets
- One head of green-leaf lettuce, chopped
- One heart romaine lettuce, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 ̊
- For the croutons: Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the parmesan and toss to coat. Bake until crisp and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- For the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, two tablespoons adobo sauce, the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy, garlic, remaining two tablespoons parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Brush the salmon with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill skin-side up until marked, and the salmon releases easily from the grill, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and brush with the remaining 1/4 cup adobo sauce. Continue to cook until the salmon is firm and cooked, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Combine both lettuces in a large bowl—season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Gently stir in the croutons. Serve the salmon on top of the salad.