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Delicious Spring Salad Recipes

Spring Salads 2 at CHEFS Mix
April 4, 2013

Salads have an unfair reputation for being boring and short on taste—in reality, nothing could be further from the truth! Salad's contentscrisp greens, juicy berries, crunchy nuts, ripe peppers, flavorful onions and moreare some of nature's most intense tastes. Additionally, no two salads are alike. From varied leafy greens to a host of different fixins' to a plethora of dressings, the options for salad combinations are endless!

Salads can also be very healthy, as they can contain vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats and even grains - you can essentially get all of your food groups into one meal with these delicious dishes.

Here are two of our favorite salad dressing recipes to help you spice up the greens in your life:

Chef John D. Folse's Spinach Salad with Sautéed Pears

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Asparagus Salad with Fennel and Basil Vinaigrette Recipe | CHEFS Mix

What you'll need:
6 cups spinach
2 pears, diced

 ¼ cup olive oil
 ¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup onions, sliced
4 slices of bacon, chopped
½ cup red bell peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon orange peel, grated
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Louisiana hot sauce, to taste (optional)

What to do:
Immediately after dicing the pears (we recommend wild cooking pears), place them into a bowl with the lemon juice. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sautée pan. Add bacon and stir until crispy and cooked through. Add onions and bell peppers, sautéeing for an additional three to five minutes. Pour the diced pear mixture in, and cook a few minutes, until pears are al dente. Add vinegars, orange peel and sugar, and immediately bring the mixture to a low boil. Gradually reduce to a simmer. Season with herbs, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Remove from heat. Place the spinach in a large salad bowl, and pour the dressing over top. Toss and serve immediately.

Green and White Asparagus Salad with Fennel and Basil Vinaigrette

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Spinach Salad with Sauteed Pears Recipe | CHEFS Mix

What you'll need:

For the dressing
½ bunch of basil (approx. ¼ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced

 ½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
zest of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad
40 asparagus spears (approx. 3½ cups), peeled if desired, ends trimmed
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:
For the dressing
Blend basil leaves, garlic, lemon zest and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Slowly add in olive oil and process until the mixture is shredded, but not pureed. Add salt and pepper, if desired.

For the salad
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cover immediately. After three minutes, strain the asparagus and add them to a bowl of ice water. Remove the asparagus from the water as soon as it is chilled - this will blanch the vegetables and halt the cooking process. Dry the stalks and season with olive oil, salt and pepper before setting aside.

Halve fennel bulbs, remove the cores and shave with a mandolin or very sharp knife. Place the bulbs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Retrieve the asparagus and coat with some of the basil dressing. Do the same with the fennel bulbs. Place the asparagus on a plate, top with fennel and drizzle with dressing before garnishing with basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Your turn: What are some of your favorite salad recipes? Do you make it a point to eat some greens each and every day in the form of a salad?

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Spring screams leafy greens. See more blogs on spring salads, right here at CHEFS Mix.

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Tags: Salad

Categories: Food & Recipes