A salad that celebrates winter and early spring produce. A bed of mixed greens tossed with purple cabbage and topped with grapes, pears, cranberries, feta, and roasted nuts and finished off with a fig and Dijon dressing.
A friend recently said she struggles to use all her fresh produce.
I can not say I can relate. My family loves fresh fruit and vegetables and would prefer a salad any day of the week to steamed vegetables.
However, there are times when the produce is lacking at the store. When I all I can find is root vegetables and hearty cabbages. And while I love these things, I really long for spring and summer when my stores and farmer markets are bursting at the seems with tender berries and fresh ears of corn.
As winter is FINALLY coming to an end and spring is beginning to show it’s sign of appearing, I am starting to get excited about what is making its way into my local stores. There are fresh strawberries, grapes and tender asparagus. There are still heartier winter staples like pears and cabbage.
When the produce of late winter mixes with the produce of early spring, magic happens.
At least the salad I created with this selection of produce was magic.
Loved my me. Loved by the kids. Loved by the man.
This salad was literally not planned. I was looking in my fridge one afternoon and seeing that I had mixed baby greens and a few lonesome grapes and 1 pear left over from the week. I was running low on produce, but paired with the purple cabbage I had leftover from some slaw I had made earlier in the week, a salad sounded like the perfect idea to pair with our dinner. And since I was completely out of tomatoes and peppers for a traditional salad, this was really the only option I had for the mixed greens before hitting up the store.
So a Mixed Greens and Fruit Salad was created. And all alone it was delicious, but when I paired with a homemade dressing made with fig balsamic vinegar and Dijon, well, like I said, Magic.
Don’t have fig balsamic vinegar? I feel bad for you–it is so heavenly drizzled over fresh fruit, sharp cheeses, and pork. BUT, never fear–an apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or even plain balsamic vinegar will work.
The magic in this salad is the tart cabbage and cranberries contrasted with with the sweetness of the pears, grapes, and honey roasted nuts. And then it is given the perfect salty bite with crumbled feta cheese. And just in case any flavor component was not hit–the tang of the Dijon and the richness of the fig vinegar give you a taste bud explosion!
The key to this salad, like any salad, is to keep the components separate until serving. The greens can be tossed with the grapes, cabbages, dried cranberries, and pears before hand. But wait to dress the salad and top with the cheese and nuts to just before serving, to prevent soggy nuts or wilted lettuce.
- 9 ounces mixed greens or spinach
- ½ small head purple cabbage, sliced
- 1 large pear, diced
- 1-2 cups red grapes, sliced in half
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ¼ cup honey roasted nuts
- 3 tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh pepper
- Mix together the vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside until serving.
- Toss together the mixed greens, cranberries, pears and grapes.
- When ready to serve, add the feta and nuts to the salad and dress with the dressing.