Lately, there have been more batches of brownies and pizza [coming soon!!] over here than I can count on both hands. While I have loved creating and eating these recipes my body is screaming for salad. And with the warmer weather and spring produce starting to roll in it’s going to be an easy transition to make.
This salad is loaded to the brim. You’ll find three different types of greens, broccoli sprouts, radishes, spring onions, fresh peas, and salty pistachios. I love adding some type of salty crunch and pistachios were just the right fit.
But with this veggie loaded salad I needed a dressing that could hold up to all the flavors and textures but also not overpower the freshness. A simple vinaigrette could have gotten the job done, but I wanted something with a bit more body. A dressing thick like ranch dressing but not ranch dressing. Enter, hemp seed salad dressing.
Ohhh, how I love hemp seeds. They’re incredibly nutty in flavor with a slight bit of earthiness and a soft but slightly crunchy texture. They are amazing on top of pretty much anything, sweet or savory, or blended into smoothies. Beyond their flavor these little seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re a complete protein packing 10 grams in just 3 tablespoons, as well as healthy omega-3’s, and nearly half your daily intake of magnesium. After joining Costco when we moved back to Denver I was shocked to see that they carry hemp seeds for a fraction of the cost at other stores. The same goes for hemp oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, chia seeds, quinoa, EBF greens, and frozen organic fruit [just some of my favorite Costco finds].
Anyway. This salad. It’s a no-fuss, total body reboot. The dressing is blended together in about 30 seconds and thickens as it sits.
Then you can add anything and everything you want into the salad. Clean your fridge out, use some fresh springy veggie goodness, or keep it super simple by massaging the dressing into curly kale leaves and throwing a handful of salted nuts on top.
In the days after making this salad I found myself snacking on carrots dunked in the leftover dressing, which I believe is better than my recently acquired habit of eating cold pizza from the fridge followed by brownies straight from the freezer.
Hemp Seed Dressing and Spring Salad
gluten-free, vegan // yields ~12oz dressing
- 1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
- small handful fresh basil, or parsley
Place all ingredients [except basil] in a high-powered blender and blend on low working to high until smooth. Scrape the sides and blend again. Taste and add more lemon juice/zest or s+p if desired. Add in basil and blend for another 5+ seconds until finely chopped and incorporated. The dressing will seem thin but thickens after sitting for 5-10 minutes and even more once chilled. Store in a jar in the fridge sealed for 4-5 days. Stir before using and thin out with a bit or water or lemon juice if needed.
For the salad: I used a mixture of chard, kale, and red leaf lettuce as the base then added in radishes, spring onions, fresh peas, broccoli sprouts, and salted pistachios.
This week is going to be a crazy one, so a fridge full of greens and dressing ready to go is the exact thing I need to keep me going.