A fresh garden salad, done right, serves as the perfect veggie complement to lunch or dinner, particularly when the sun's shining and you're craving something light and refreshing. While a garden salad can easily be bulked up to a main meal, it's often regarded as a trusted side dish to add freshness (and a whole lot of nutrients) to a meal. Either way, everyone needs a good garden salad recipe up their sleeve!
While it can be tempting to whip up a salad and then walk over to the fridge and pick out your favourite pre-made salad dressing to generously drizzle over, HOLD ON JUST A SECOND, because whipping up your own homemade dressing is actually really easy! I've included a recipe for a honey-mustard dressing here (featuring honey from our recent honey harvest!) - it's sweet and delicious, and a thin coating on your salad will really jazz it up. Storebought salad dressings often don't add much nutritionally, and are filled with cheap processed ingredients - there's a saying I like 'as humans, we're all natural, so try keep your food all natural too'.
On the topic of salad dressings, here's a fun fact: while dressings primarily help make a dish taste even better, they can also aid nutrient absorption too. Certain nutrients in vegetables, deemed fat-soluble vitamins (for the nutrition enthusiasts, this is vitamin A, D, E and K), need the presence of dietary fat to be properly absorbed, so we can properly uptake them. By adding a fat-rich food, like olive oil in your dressing to a salad, you're encouraging the absorption of these nutrients. A total win-win, for your taste buds and health.
Garden Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing
5-6 cups of salad greens (go for variety!)
2 large tomatoes or 4 small-medium tomatoes
1/2 cucumber or 1 small cucumber
1 green capsicum
A small handful of sunflower seeds
A small sprinkle of sesame seeds
Honey mustard dressing
4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp mustard
A pinch of salt and pepper
1. Wash all produce. Leave to dry.
2. Slice tomatoes into wedges, capsicum into thin strips and cucumber into coins. Aim to get everything relatively bite-sized so it's manageable to eat! Tear larger leafy greens into smaller pieces.
3. Add all the veggies to a large salad bowl.
4. Whisk/blend all ingredients for salad dressing together. Make sure to whisk well, so the ingredients emulsify together (i.e. so the oil and lemon juice aren't separated) - otherwise you'll get blobs of olive oil or acidic lemon juice on your salad greens, and it won't taste that nice. Taste test and adjust if desired (e.g. a little extra honey for sweetness..).
5. Dress the salad with the dressing - keep in mind you may not need all of the dressing, depending on your volume of salad. Toss the dressing carefully with your salad, aiming to lightly coat, not drench, and if you have any leftover just pop it in the fridge for another salad over the next few days!
6. Garnish salad with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Enjoy!