The final weekend of Carnival is not one for moderation, and lots of us will find ourselves over-served on spirits, king cake or both. But when all that indulgence recedes at the close of Fat Tuesday, we’re going to want a nutrient-rich nosh that leaves us feeling healthy and inspired.
Local spring produce is looking great these days, since our farmers have finally had a succession of good weather days to nurture their emerging spring crops along. I stopped by the Red Stick Farmers Market Saturday to do some shopping and saw a ton of ingredients that begged for a big salad. There were fresh lettuces and baby greens, spinach, beets, strawberries, radishes, microgreens, shoots and other items.
This salad is comprised of some of our fresh and crunchy late winter/early spring veggies tossed in a vinaigrette made with juice from local blood oranges.
Spring greens salad with blood orange vinaigrette
For the salad:
10-12 cups washed greens, preferably a varied lettuce mix
Sunflower microgreens or snow pea shoots (available from Red Stick Farmers Market vendors Westdome Nursery or Fullness Farms Organics, or specialty grocers like Whole Foods Market)
½ cup peeled and grated carrot
½ cup whole roasted baby beets or roasted sliced beets
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks, peel and pit removed
1/3 cup sliced radishes
1/3 cup crumbled chevre
Assemble all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with the blood orange vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve immediately.
For the blood orange vinaigrette:
½ cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice (one orange)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine the first five ingredients in a food processor and turn the machine on. With the motor running, add the olive oil slowly until the mixture is emulsified. You can also do this by hand in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes just less than a cup.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor and the author of 225’s “Spatula Diaries,” a food blog featuring Louisiana ingredients. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.