Friday, June 28, 2013

Two Rainbow Salads

Roasted Rainbow Salad

I love salad. Really.

For many, the word "salad" conjures up some pretty depressing images: a bowl full of iceberg lettuce, topped with shredded cheese product, croutons that could break your teeth, and a sliver or two of underripe, out-of-season tomatoes grown in the thankless sands of Florida. Drown the whole thing in a bottled dressing, and voila! A perfect recipe for bad PR.

Salad is so much more than that, my friends.

Raw rainbow salad

I don't believe in labeling foods "good" or "bad," "sinless" or "sinful" (don't get me started on that hideous, theologically suspect cliche), but I admit that, yes, part of the pleasure of eating a salad is feeling (if we must use this phrase) "virtuous"-- feeling like you've done something good for your body. But feeling virtuous isn't the same as feeling martyred. Being good to your body should be a pleasurable experience, and I never eat a salad I don't enjoy.

These two summer salads are not only tasty; they are also very pleasant to look at, featuring as they do fresh produce from every stop on the color wheel. Kermit would be proud.

Roasted Rainbow Salad

There's so much going on in this gorgeous salad. Roasted carrots and squash give sweetness, blueberries add tang, and beans contribute some creaminess, while fresh lemon juice and good tomatoes lend acidity and tartness. I love the way the warm vegetables contrast with the cold lettuce leaves.


2 medium to large carrots
1 small yellow summer squash (I usually shoot for about 6 ounces)
1 tsp olive oil (or a little more if you want)
~2 cups mixed greens (I like a mix that has lots of green [spinach, mizuna,  tatsoi, romaine, arugula,
       green tango], purple [red oak lettuce, red mustard,  lolla rosa lettuce, red leaf lettuce], and pink
       [baby Swiss chard])
1/2 cup pinto beans (or whatever beans you like and have on hand)
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup chopped tomato (or sliced cherry tomatoes)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Red wine vinegar to taste


Preheat oven to ~425 degrees. Chop carrots and squash into bite-sized chunks. Toss in a roasting pan with the olive oil, and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once, or until beautifully blistered and browned.

Make sure to spread the veggies evenly in the pan; otherwise those suckers will steam, not roast.

Put mixed greens, beans, blueberries, tomatoes, and roasted carrots and squash in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add lemon juice and vinegar, and toss. Spend the rest of your meal trying to get a little bit of everything onto every forkful.

The perfect bite.

Raw Rainbow Salad

This salad is just as pretty and delicious as the roasted rainbow salad, but without having to turn on the oven. The raw rainbow salad features peaches and blueberries for sweetness, carrots for crunch, broccoli for heft, and diced red onion for a pop of slap-in-the-face flavor.


~2 cups whatever kind of greens you want-- I like mixed greens or arugula
1 peach, chopped (I like to get the kind with a really red skin)
1 carrot, scrubbed and finely chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup whatever kind of beans you want
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Vinegar to taste (either red wine or apple cider is fine)


Toss everything in a bowl. Eat it. Rocket science, I know.

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