April 9, 2018

It seems spring has not yet sprung, but feel free to delight your taste buds with foods that are crunchy and fresh. Bright green veggies and savory herbs will brighten up any meal as we wait not so patiently for spring to arrive.

Crunchy Greens Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing

For our Easter dinner, my mom, Ann Wilson, prepared a baked ham along with new potatoes and fresh salads. The star of this salad from Southern Celebrations was the creamy and thick dressing. It had just the right amount of tang from the sour cream and buttermilk.

Salad:

6 cups mixed salad greens

3 cups broccoli slaw mix

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, diced

Buttermilk Herb Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 cup whole buttermilk

2 1/2 teaspoons dried dill

2 teaspoons dried chives

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

In a large bowl, toss together salad greens, slaw mix, tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper, Right before serving, add desired amount of Buttermilk Herb Dressing. Toss gently to combine.

Notes:

This salad makes about 6 servings.

If making the day ahead, do not add the dressing until right before serving.

The dressing recipe makes about 3 cups of dressing, which is plenty for the salad.

The dressing is very thick and makes a nice dip for raw vegetables.

Fresh Asparagus and French Green Bean Salad

Asparagus is always a treat especially in the spring. Green beans go well with asparagus as it’s similar in size and texture. This salad by Alpine Fresh has it all. The tasty vinaigrette is very mild. Bacon adds a nice crunch, while the hardboiled egg adds a bit of richness to the dish.

Salad:

1 lb French green beans, stems removed

2 lbs fresh asparagus, woody ends removed

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 tablespoon finely fresh chives

5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into quarters

Vinaigrette:

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste.

Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil and add beans and asparagus. Return to boil, lower heat and simmer about 2-4 minutes until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water. Let cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil until smooth. Season to taste. Set aside.

Chop cooled vegetables and transfer to a salad bowl. Sprinkle with shallot, chives and bacon. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with eggs.

Makes 12 servings

Note: This dish can be served chilled and then reheated later for leftovers (minus the hardboiled egg).