You can look at this hulking superfood salad as a template: as the seasons change, you can rotate in whatever produce looks fresh and colorful throughout the year. That could be roasted squash and julienned apple in the fall, or blanched spring peas and thinly sliced asparagus in the spring. The gooey sweet dates, salty cheddar, crunchy marcona almonds and punchy all-purpose dressing taste great on everything. This recipe does make more dressing than you’ll need, but it’s a great one to have on hand in your fridge for any impromptu salads.
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, plus 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 1½ teaspoons light agave syrup
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups packed thinly sliced stemmed kale leaves
- 2 cups packed baby arugula
- 2 cups shredded leftover chicken or turkey
- ½ cup cubed aged white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup julienned raw red beet (see NOTE)
- 4 Rancho Meladuco Medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
- ½ ripe Hass avocado, chopped
- 1 Persian cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed and thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 cup sungold cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup marcona almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh red currants or pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the mustard, shallot and agave syrup. While whisking constantly, slowly stream in both oils until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the kale and arugula with some of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to two large shallow bowls. Divide the chicken, cheese, beets, dates, avocado, cucumber, snap peas, almonds and fresh currants between the two bowls. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more ground pepper. Serve right away, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
NOTE In early summer, look for small young beets. They are crunchy, juicy and don’t yet have the intense earthiness of a mature beet. If you can’t find young beets, then substitute with cubed roasted beets.
Recipe & Photo: Julia Heffelfinger