Summer is just around the corner
Pools open this weekend! And there will certainly be Memorial Day picnics to attend. Maybe you’re headed to the beach this weekend or the pool or a Memorial Day picnic? If so, this Crisp Veggie Salad is refreshing and easy to make ahead!
Make a big batch
I sometimes make a big batch of this one. It’s worth making because it keeps all week. I love having fresh, crisp veggies around that I can serve with a number of different meals. Especially, in the summer, when it’s so hot out you don’t want to use the oven or stove.
This salad can work well for kids, because, if you use a dressing they like, they’re more likely to be open to trying the salad. Also, they can eat around the veggies they don’t like. Full disclosure: I’ve made this salad for years and my kids still don’t eat it; even though they love mustard vinaigrette (as our regular readers know, it’s a staple in our house) and they eat carrots and cucumbers regularly. I just keep making the salad. Maybe they'll try it sometime and maybe not.
Make it with any crisp veggies you like
This salad can be made from any combination of veggies you like. Try making it with raw green beans, raw asparagus (cut off the tips and discard them), raw sugar snap peas, sliced radishes and toasted sliced almonds.
No recipe needed
You can simply chop up as many raw veggies as you’d like. But if you’d like a recipe, here it is: Cut up ½ a head of cauliflower into small, bite-size florets. Peel and cut up a cucumber (or 2). Peel and cut up 3-4 large carrots. Invite your kids to help peel the carrots and cukes. Then rinse and slice 5 radishes. I often add some arugula or watercress too. Toss with about ½ cup of the mustard vinaigrette and some salt and pepper to taste. You can always add more vinaigrette.
To Make the Mustard Vinaigrette whisk together 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, ⅔ cup canola oil and salt and pepper to taste.
4 ways to serve crisp veggie salad
- As a veggie side
- As a main dish summer salad on a bed of cooked farro (one of my personal favorite grains) and topped with toasted, unsalted nuts. Any kind of nuts you like will work. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds will work well, too. If you only have salted nuts, you may want to use a little less salt when making the salad.
- Another main dish summer salad: over mixed greens and topped with tuna
- Toss with cooked pasta for a yummy pasta salad
Speaking of summer did you read Anna's recent post?
Being just on the verge of summer has me thinking about summer camp and Anna's recent post. Ellie, our 11-year-old is going to sleep away camp for the first time this summer. I think I’m more nervous than she is! One of my concerns is what if she ends up in a cabin with kids and counselors who are focused on diets and diet talk. I know she has a lot of language and beliefs from home that will help her navigate this. But, it’s hard for a kid or teen (and many adults) when everyone around you is talking about the need to lose weight or what foods they're eating and what they're not. So, I sent the camp director the free training resource Anna shared in her last post! Who are you sharing the resource with? It’s important we get diet culture out of summer camp (along with all the other places it pops up).
Crisp Summer Veggie Salad
- ½ head of cauliflower cut into small bite-size pieces
- 3 medium carrots peeled and diced or chopped
- 1 *seedless cucumber peeled and diced or chopped
- 4-6 radishes washed and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup watercress leaves washed and removed from stems or arugula
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mustard vinaigrette recipe follows
- Cut up ½ head of cauliflower into small, bite-size pieces.
- Peel the carrots and then slice each in half lengthwise. Then dice (or chop) the carrots.
- Peel the cucumber and then slice in half lengthwise. Then dice or chop it.
- Wash the radishes and then cut each in half. Set on the cutting board sliced side down and slice them. The slices will look a bit like half moons.
- Rinse the watercress. Remove the leaves from the stems.
- Place all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and ½ cup mustard vinaigrette. You can always add more if needed.