Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! I’m wishing you a day full of love, happiness and indulgence! For many, that indulgence comes in the form of chocolate. If you are looking for a way to justify that chocolate, I have the perfect salad for you. (But truthfully, in my book, chocolate needs no justification!) Let’s just call it balance, then.
This is a simple and light salad that would be a perfect accompaniment to any special dinner you are preparing. What makes this perfect for Valentine’s Day? The colors! Fill this salad with as much red and purple as you can find at your local market. Red lettuces are pretty common and easy to find; as were raspberries and pomegranate seeds. But I was lucky enough to find some purple cauliflower at Whole Foods. And that added a nice little crunch and some interesting color. And don’t forget to toss a few hearty healthy toasted walnuts into the mix!
Use red lettuce or red veined lettuce for the body of your salad. Red leaf or oak leaf, radicchio, baby beet greens and red chard are some good choices.
For pops of color, texture and flavor try adding some raspberries, pomegranate seeds, thinly shredded purple cabbage, purple cauliflower (if you can find it!) and some toasted walnuts.
If you don’t want to add fruit to this salad, you can swap it out for some red beets. If you like the fruit, consider blackberries and blueberries. Chop up some purple onion if you desire. And tomatoes are always an option, too. It’s up to your imagination and what’s available to you at this time of year.
The dressing is easy and uncomplicated. It’s delicious on any plate of greens, so I always make more than is needed just to have it all week long. Double the vinaigrette amounts if you want to make a jar of it. In keeping with the theme, instead of black pepper, I used cracked pink peppercorns.
Actually, don’t wait for Valentine’s Day or a special occasion to make this salad. It will brighten up any winter meal.
This salad hits your palate in so many places. Fresh, sweet, savory, tangy, peppery, crunchy. It’s all there. But to me, it just tastes like………
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare
- 6 cups of mixed red lettuces (such as red leaf, red oak, red romaine, red endive, red kale, red chard, red beet greens, radicchio) torn into bite size pieces if they are not baby greens.
- 1 cup of purple cauliflower, in small pieces
- 1 cup of finely shredded purple cabbage
- 4 ounces of raspberries
- 2 Tablespoons of pomegranate seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of chopped toasted walnuts
- 6 Tablespoons of champagne vinegar
- 12 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cracked pink peppercorns
- Note: This makes just enough for this salad. Double it if you want to have a jar to enjoy all week long.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Whisk until the dressing has emulsified. Add the lettuce and toss to coat. Add the raspberries, cabbage, cauliflower, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts and toss gently. Serve right away.
You can’t buy love, but you can buy local and that’s kind of the same thing. Support your local farmers!