rainbow summer salad
This salad is so beautiful, full of color and healthy goodness. The glistening arils from pomegranates, the red chewy dried cranberry, the creamy richness of avocado, the crunch and spicy bite of the pepitas – oh my!
I use the one-pound box of greens from Costco, their “half and half” mix, half baby spinach and half colorful spring mix.
Any lettuce or combination of greens you prefer work just fine. Be sure to use a full pound though, this is a “big” salad! Once the dressing is added to the greens, the salad won’t keep for long, so be sure to wait until the last minute to put it all together.
Quick Tip: This vinaigrette uses sesame seeds. Store sesame seeds in the refrigerator. Those little things go rancid in a hurry if they are stored at room temperature.
Salad with Crasins, Avocado, Candied Spiced Pepitas and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups dried cranberries (crasins)
4 medium avocados
3 cups yellow cherry tomato halves
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (arils)
1 large bunch cilantro leaves
1 pound “half & half salad mix” from Costco (baby spinach and spring mix)
1 1/2 cups Candied Spiced Pepitas
Vinaigrette: Place the sugar, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, dry mustard, onion, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Whisk in the vinegar and combine well to dissolve sugar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until fully emulsified. Set aside.
Salad: Place the crasins in a very large serving bowl. Cut each avocado lengthwise in half, around the pit. Remove pits. One at a time, place each half in the palm of your hand and, using a table knife, cut the avocado flesh into a checkerboard pattern, to dice. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and drop into the bowl with the crasins. Repeat with remaining 7 avocado halves.
Add 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette to the bowl and gently toss, to coat all of the avocado with the dressing. This will prevent the avocado from turning brown.
Add the tomatoes and arils and toss again. Place the cilantro leaves on top, but do not toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. May be done up to 4 hours ahead.
When ready to serve, place the salad mix on top and toss to combine, adding just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens. Scatter the candied pepitas over salad.
Place any remaining vinaigrette in a bowl and pass with the salad.
Serves a crowd