All I want to do is eat this big, fat, juicy salad every single day for the rest of the summer. It’s the kind of salad that keeps your body feeling balanced when life is crazy, it’s the kind of salad to cool you off on a hot summer day, it’s the kind of salad to fill you up + give you a kick of energy. It can be adapted with any summer veggies and herbs you have on hand. This is really more of a starting point.
Pick. Wash. Peel. Chop. Blend. Toss. EAT.
Making squash curls are my absolute new favorite way to eat summer squash. I enjoy it raw more than cooked and it only takes minutes to prepare! They have a nice bite and no squeaky/mushy texture. When peeled with a vegetable peeler [or a mandolin slicer] you can easily curl the the squash pieces for easy eating and a fancy look!
And who doesn’t like a little fancy every now + again?
Summer Veggie Salad with Garden Herb Dressing
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 large salads
for the salad:
- 1 head lacinato kale
- 1 medium head romaine
- 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 16oz package baby bella mushrooms
- 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes
- 2 medium zucchini squash
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 2 avocados
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, fully cooled
- Thoroughly wash kale + romaine, pat dry, remove stems/ends, and chop.
- Rinse + drain chickpeas.
- Remove mushroom stems, wipe with a damp towel, and chop.
- Slice tomatoes in half.
- Trim squash ends. With a vegetable peeler, peel the first few layers from the squash and discard.
- Peel until rest of the each squash [flip and start on the other side if needed] and curl them around your finger to make the squash curls. Chop any remaining squash that can’t be peeled.
- Pit and slice the avocado.
- Mix the romaine and kale in 4 bowls and toss with dressing, massaging well with your hands.
- Place an even mix of chickpeas, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash curls, avocado, and 1/2 cup quinoa* in each bowl.
- Spoon more dressing over top and serve.
*I cooked plain quinoa as a topping for this salad but forgot to add it in the bowl for the photographs. My apologies! The salad is delicious with or without the quinoa [or brown rice!].
for the dressing:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, oregano/thyme/chives
- 1-2 teaspoons agave, or honey
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2+ teaspoon salt/pepper
- Place ingredients in a blender and blend on low working up to high until fully combined. Taste and add more lemon juice/oil, salt/pepper, or sweetener if desired. I typically like an even amount of oil and lemon juice or slightly more lemon. You can adapt the herbs with whatever you have on hand. If you’re not using any basil, add 1-2 tablespoons of other herbs instead, taste + add more if desired.
The next night we made taco salads and I adapted the dressing with lime juice and about 1/2 teaspoon cumin. It was excellent!
Things are going well on the moving front and we are so happy to be in our new spot. We’re really digging the neighborhood and have been exploring as much as possible. We have some renovation work happening for the next 1-2 months so we’re currently living in the basement. After a little kitchen work is done this week and next we’ll be moving our things onto the main floor and settling in a bit more. Thanks for hanging with the odd posting schedule!