Now that it’s Fall, I still love making easy salads for dinner paired with a protein but since the cooler weather is blowing in, I like to beef them up a little. There are so many ways to winterize salads as the weather gets even colder, but for now, let’s talk about this one special salad that was a dinnertime hit on Sunday night.
Dandelion greens are a heartier green, a great alternative to kale. They’re bitter so I like balancing them with other strong flavors which is why I used toasted pecans, fennel and dijon mustard in the vinaigrette. Some other options are to add roasted beets (red or yellow), quinoa and/or some really good quality organic, raw goat cheese if you eat dairy.
Why eat dandelion greens? I can think of probably 20 reasons right now but that would make this blog post way too long and I want to get to the recipe so let’s start with a couple.
1. They’re detoxifying. You know I’m a big fan of detoxifying foods. Dandelion greens do the trick.
2. You want protein, they’ve got protein – and they’re a complete protein. One cup has 1.5 grams of protein and all essential amino acids.
Convinced yet? Pick up a bunch this week.
Dandelion Greens with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 medium bulb of fennel, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1/3 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 c. chopped pecans, toasted
2 small, golden beets, roasted (not pictured)**
Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. raw honey
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Whisk or blend all ingredients and drizzle over salad
* *To roast beets, wash well and drizzle with olive oil, cut rectangles of foil or parchment paper and drizzle beets with olive oil. Wrap each beet in the foil or parchment pieces with one clove of garlic each. Bake on 450 for 45 minutes to an hour or an until fork-tender.
Except for the beets, which you can prepare ahead (I like to make a few then keep them on hand to add to salads and eat with my meals throughout the week), this took all of ten minutes to make and I even had enough left over for lunch the next day!