focus friday. healthy eating.

…during the summer, marc likes to play golf on thursday evenings. so dinner is just for sara and me. and it’s nearly always salad. last night we tried a new one, inspired by this clipping my mom sent.

she was right on the mark – this is definitely a salad for us!

the only essential ingredient we didn’t have on hand was green onions, but that was an easy fix with harry’s right down the street.

the salad is a bed of greens, topped with fruit, vegetables and a savory grain, lightly dressed with a lemon basil dressing.

I first rinsed the tomatoes and blueberries, and stopped to admire the red & blue;

then I made zucchini ribbons with a vegetable peeler and blanched the ribbons (as much as I love vegetables, I do not like raw zucchini) – just a minute in the microwave and then a quick rinse in cold water;

rinsed and cooked the quinoa, chopped more, washed two heads of romaine, and assembled.

(we did have leftovers!)

thinking about this salad in its component parts – fruit, vegetables, grain and greens – we’re excited to try other variations. peaches and strawberries for the fruit, tomatoes and cucumber or asparagus and yellow squash (both blanched) for the vegetables, brown rice or couscous for the grain, and greens… or a winter version with apples and oranges and acorn or butternut squash… the possibilities are endless!

mary/sara salad
inspired by better homes & gardens’ july 2011 grains & fruit summer salad

for the dressing
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper

for the fruit
1-1/2 cups cubed cantaloupe (half of a medium sized melon)
2 cups blueberries

for the vegetables
one medium zucchini, sliced in ribbons with a vegetable peeler, blanched
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

for the savory grain
2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed, cooked in 1-1/2 cups water)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
salt and pepper

for the greens
4 cups salad greens (I used the top halves of two heads of romaine and about a cup of mixed baby greens – the romaine leaves were great to layer under the rest of the salad)

for the top
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mixed, chopped herbs (I used basil, oregano, thyme and parsley – what we have fresh on the deck!)

whisk the dressing ingredients together.

for the quinoa, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the quinoa. return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. fluff with a fork. add the green onion and 2 tablespoons of the dressing. season with salt and pepper.

to assemble, line a big salad bowl with the greens. cover with the fruit, vegetables and quinoa. sprinkle the walnuts and herbs over the top. serve with the dressing (suggest adding the dressing separately in case you have leftovers – undressed salad keeps better!)

5 thoughts on “focus friday. healthy eating.

  1. very delicious! i love your idea of the fall/winter one with apples and butternut squash — i think farro would be the perfect grain for that one, or maybe wild rice…

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