You can fill more than Half Your Plate and create your own salad with this recipe. Chefs know that the art and craft of filling a salad bowl is one of the greatest expressions of the culinary arts. Home cooks love how easy it is to cram the salad bowl with healthy flavours. Everyone enjoys emptying the bowl. You’ll love knowing you have plenty of delicious dressing leftover for the next salad and nothing beats impressing yourself in your own kitchen! This one was custom created by Honorable Lawrence MacAulay with Chef Michael Smith’s coaching!
Yield: 4 to 6
For the salad greens
6 to 8 ounces of any fresh mixed baby greens, field greens, mesclun, baby spinach, arugula, even mâche
A head or two of romaine, leaf, Bibb, or iceberg lettuce, chopped or torn
For the garnishes
A few handfuls of fresh herb leaves, parsley, basil and mint
Your favourite vegetables, prepped appropriately into smaller pieces A carrot or two, shredded
A stalk or two of celery, diced or shredded
Shredded red cabbage
1 or 2 crisp apples or pears, thinly sliced or shredded
A handful of shredded or sliced radishes
A handful or three of bean, lentil or other legume sprout
A red or sweet onion, thinly sliced
A few green onions, thinly sliced
Handfuls of fresh basil, parsley, or mint leaves
For the dressing
1/2 cup or so of vegetable oil
1/4 cup or so of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
A heaping tablespoon (18 mL) or two of yellow mustard
A heaping tablespoon (18 mL) or two of your favourite seasoning
A cup or so of anything crunchy: croutons, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, granola, even hand-crushed tortilla chips
To craft your own house salad, fill a festive salad bowl with handfuls of fresh, tangy greens for everyone. Choose from one or more of your favorite types and feel free to create your own blend.
For lots of color and crunch, garnish your salad with a few of your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Indulge your creativity and enjoy crafting your own House Dressing. It’s just as easy to make a lot as a little, so feel free to double, even triple the recipe. Fill a large jar and have enough for this salad and the next few too. Choose an oil, a vinegar, something sweet, and a seasoning. You can trust that the unique binding properties of mustard will magically emulsify the works into a smooth dressing.
Shake, shake, shake until smooth, then pour a few spoonfuls of your homemade House Dressing onto the salad, just enough to lightly coat the works. (You’ll have lots of leftover dressing.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Quickly and gently toss the greens and garnishes together with the dressing until the salad is evenly dressed.
Serve and share with your choice of crunchy topping!
© Chef Michael Smith
The creative possibilities in your salad bowl are endless. Feel free to experiment with each of the components. Over time you’ll find and repeat your favourites. There are many different baby greens available and just about any vegetable can be prepped into a salad. Check your bulk section for inspired textural toss-ins. Your dressing jar is a great place to show off your best olive oil and two creative choices there will define the salads flavour the most: which sour vinegar and which balancing sweet?
One of the best ways to fill Half Your Plate (and all of your soup bowl) is with a simple puréed soup. They’re a time-honoured and super-simple way to get a whole lot of vegetable flavour on the table in a hurry – maybe even hide vegetables from finicky eaters. This one was custom created by Health Minister Terry Lake with Chef Michael Smith’s coaching!
Pumpkins are not just for carving into pretty faces they’re vegetables, so you can eat them too! As members of the squash family they’re deliciously versatile, inexpensive and packed with nutrients. Your best choice for cooking though are not the various jack-o-lantern varieties, they tend to be too big and bland. Instead, try this simple yet stunning idea with a few mini decorative pumpkins during harvest. With all this seasonal flavour they’re a great way to fill Half Your Plate!