After a yoga class one day, my friend Daina told me about her favorite salad. Daina is a master gardener and grows much of what she eats this time of year in her own backyard. She mentioned that her favorite greens are dandelion greens and that she doesn’t use dressing on her salads.
Preferring my salads with a drizzle of something, and having recently received a versatile dressing recipe from Nancy, a good family friend, it occurred to me that Nancy’s slightly sweet dressing would be an ideal compliment to this salad. The flavors in the dressing pair perfectly with a variety of fruit and nuts, yet provide a nice counterbalance to bitter salad additions such as radishes and, yes, dandelion greens! (Although I find a simple mixture of greens to be quite delicious, too!)
Daina uses dried blueberries when fresh are not available and as a option to more frequently used dried cranberries. It’s a great way to make this a year-round salad that reminds us of a summertime favorite and still packs blueberries’ anti-oxidant punch, only in a readily-available pantry ingredient. Add in creamy avocado, crunchy nuts, and tangy cheese, and the result is a salad that is as delicious as it is nutritious.
Nancy keeps a jar in her fridge, using it as her go-to salad dressing. I found it well suited for a basic spinach and strawberry salad and a perfect match for my friend Daina's favorite salad combination that follows.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar; plain white vinegar may be used)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup salad oil
- Mixed Greens
- Fresh or dried blueberries
- Chopped avocado
- Goat cheese (could substitute feta or another cheese of choice)
- Optional extras: sliced radishes, slivered red onion, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds or other nuts of choice
- Mix all the dressing ingredients in blender for a minute or two and store in the refrigerator.
- Top a bed of your favorite greens with blueberries, avocado, almonds, and goat cheese. No need to be precise in the measurements. Simply add according to preference.
- Drizzle with the dressing, toss, and enjoy!
- I found that blending for a minute or two was enough time to sufficiently mix. I also mixed a batch with a whisk after mincing the onions very finely. This is a fine option if you do not have a blender.