Monday, July 11, 2011

Today's Salad

I have a mixing-bowl-sized salad almost every day for lunch, and though it's pretty similar most days, I try to make interesting variations.  In general I start with about the equivalent of a romaine heart in quantity of two or three different dark lettuces, then add a half cup to one-and-a-half cups chopped other vegetables, a cup of beans, and often a fruit of some sort, then I top it with a nut- or seed-based homemade salad dressing.  Here is today's:

Torn-up green leaf lettuce and romaine
Handful of broccoli slaw (convenience item)
snipped scallion
1/2 small bell pepper
1/3 chopped cucumber
1 cup rinsed canned black beans
chopped white-flesh nectarine
1/2 cup Creamy Asian Dressing

The ingredients are pretty specialized to my kitchen, but use it for inspiration from yours!

2 T. natural peanut butter solids*
2 T. roasted sesame seeds (the kind sold in big spice containers in Asian groceries -- equivalent tahini is fine)
1 clove garlic
flesh and zest from a small lime
1/2 to 1 tsp. soy sauce or equivalent
2 T. spiced peach preserves or chutney or similar sweet fruit concoction
about 1 cup warm water
(1 T. or to-taste amount of tarragon or other vinegar)

Blend all ingredients in Vita-Mix until the seeds are incorporated and smooth.  Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. This is the point at which I added the vinegar.  Makes about 1-1/2 cups, a half cup a good amount for a giant salad.

Verdict: Very Good.  The toasted sesame seeds and the preserves and the lime and vinegar as well as the garlic create that great marriage of flavors I like in a nut-based dressing--fresh, deep, peppery, and--this time--sweet.  I'm enjoying this whole salad as I create this post.

*The stuff left at the bottom of the jar when all the oil is gone, the stuff that won't spread and seems pretty useless. Use it for this!  Of course regular-consistency peanut butter would be fine, too.


  1. Yum!! That sounds like a wonderful lunch, thanks for the inspiration to make my salads more interesting :)

  2. So original. So delicious-sounding. Just printed it off to try!

  3. You're welcome, Claire. HL, I'm honored you visited -- I follow your blog pretty closely! :-)


I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!