Back in June, to honor the often-overlooked National Flag Day, I created several patriotic specials at work today, including this red, white and blue salad that sold out!! It’s simple and clean. The “blue” role can be played by blue cheese (which doubles as “white”) if you’re feeling frisky or blueberries too. Of course you can use a dairy-free cheese in place of blue cheese, like one of the Chao brand flavors or Follow Your Heart brand, or even shredded almond cheese. The dressing is one of my favorites....it’s a take on a classic raspberry gastrique sauce that I’ve turned into a vinaigrette with champagne vinegar. It’s classically sweetened with honey, but to keep it clean you can use granulated stevia with a little water. It looks beautiful and the colors really pop!! Enjoy!!! And as always, please post your comments and photos!!
(Note- at the restaurant I baked 7-grain croutons. You may want to use Ezekiel bread or Dave’s Killer “Good Seed” bread which are great clean bread options. I’ll describe the easiest way to make the most delicious croutons. Also, I’ve left out the exact amounts required for some ingredients because it’s really up to you to decide how much salad you want to make! But I’m specific where it counts!)
Ingredients- For the salad: • mixed mesclun field greens • sliced strawberries • blueberries • blue cheese (optional; if not then use.... shredded almond cheese (or other vegan cheese) • homemade croutons (see below) • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
For the croutons: • a few slices of a bread of your choice, cut into cubes • 1-2 tbsp olive or avocado oil • 1 tsp garlic powder • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper • 2-3 tsp dried parsley
For the dressing: • 1 pint of raspberries • 1-2 tbsp honey (or 1 tbsp granulated stevia mixes with 2 tbsp water) • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper • 1 tbsp fresh mint (optional) • 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
Directions- For the croutons: 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, toss the cubed bread with the oil and the seasonings. 2. Spread the seasoned bread cubes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or prepared with clean spray oil. 3. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. 4. Remove from oven to cool.
For the dressing: 1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the oil. 2. When everything is well mixed, slowly add the oil into the blender while it’s on low speed, until the oil has emulsified into a creamy mix with the raspberry base. (There should be no separation of layers in the dressing. You’ll know when it’s done because it will look almost like a cream dressing).
For the salad: 1. Toss the mesclun with the sliced strawberries, blueberries (if you’re using them), cheese, salt, pepper and croutons. 2. Drizzle the dressing around the outside edges of the salad and then toss again gently to coat the ingredients with it and to combine the salad.