Apr 11, 2013

Loving the Leaf: Spring Salad {I Heart Cooking Clubs}

You know that trendy ombre deal going around?  Hair.  Cakes.  Clothing.
That's kind of the idea behind this salad.

Look at me all fly and hip.
Umm...with a salad.

A bit more work than I'd normally put into a salad due to blanching the vegetables.  Then shocking them in cold water.  And draining.  (I took many shortcuts here.)  Ottolenghi's Spring Salad is not your last minute toss stuff in a bowl and dress it type of salad.  It's a salad that is the focus of a meal.

The mix of textures and flavors was nice.  The sesame oil in the dressing was unusual for me--although it was appealing.

We ate it alongside the Sweet Potato Cakes I posted last week.  I have to admit that the cakes were the star of the two.  But that didn't stop me from eating the leftover salad for lunch the next day.

Otolenghi's recipe can be found HERE.

I took liberties by using a mix of spinach and the last of the lettuce from my garden. I also added broccoli and used edamame in place of the broad beans (fava).  A few other minor changes took place too.

"Loving the Leaf" is what we're cookin' up at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.
Check out more leafy Yotam Ottolenghi recipes.

IHCC Ottolenghi Leek Badge resized

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(If the ingredients in this salad look familiar, I used some of the extras for Roasted Broccoli & Asparagus w/ Nutty, Lemony Feta)

Spring Salad
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

1/4 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 bundle of asparagus (5-6 oz), trimmed and sliced in half on an angle
2 small broccoli crowns, split into florets
about 1/2 cup shelled edamame
3 handfuls soft lettuce leaves, torn
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes
½ tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and divided
Salt & black pepper
handful of chopped pecans

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Blanch the vegetables by adding the green beans to the boiling water.  After 1 minute, add the asparagus and broccoli.  Wait 3 minutes, then add the edamame.  Blanch for 2 more minutes, then pour into a colander.  Immediately run cold water over the vegetables to stop the cooking process.  Drain very well while you tear the lettuce and make the dressing.

Whisk together the red pepper flakes, sesame oil, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Add all of the sesame seeds, save for a few pinches.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk again.

Add the spinach, lettuce and blanched vegetables to a large bowl and toss.  Pour the dressing over the top and toss again.  Sprinkle the reserved sesame seeds and chopped pecans over the top.  Serve.


  1. Michelle, this Salad does look very "fresh" and inviting. Last of your lettuce? I am jealous as we are getting freezing rain and our garden is muck with much of it under water at the moment.

  2. Oh dear...you had me laughing with the whole ombre thing. I keep seeing that ombre stuff everywhere and it kinda aggravates me. I just don't get it!

    However, I really do love all the shades of green in this salad. It's incredibly pretty. I like that the veggies are sturdy enough to keep well so that you can have this on hand for munching, lunching, etc. We all need something to feel virtuous about;)

  3. Hi Michelle,
    That is a beautiful plate of greens! This salad would indeed be perfect with just about any dish!

  4. I would have used a substitute for broad beans too(we're not fans here.) And as for the ombre stuff..in salads it's lovely on hair, it looks like you need your roots done. :)

  5. Anonymous4/12/2013

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  6. I've been meaning to make an ombre cake...but maybe I'll start with a salad. It sounds a bit more doable and not quite as terrible for my hips!

  7. Yum! This is my kind of salad ... a lot of work, but definitely a Meatless Monday candidate! Thanks for this recipe, and you know? I think the substitution of edamame for the fava beans is really a great thought!

  8. Too funny about the ombre comments. I was on the same wavelength as you this week and made this same salad. (I'm happy to be trendy too) ;-)

  9. This looks DELICIOUS!!! And you are a funny lady. :)


  10. Well, if I wasn't living in autumn, I could be all hip and ombre too :-) This is truly my idea of salad heaven, and I definitely have this bookmarked for spring. I don't mind a bit of blanching and prep - there is really no lengths I would not go to for some asparagus and fava beans. I also love that this is mostly a spinach based salad - my favourite kind. Love the flavour that sesame oil brings to the dressing too. Thanks for sharing it.

  11. Love this salad, so bright & fresh & just so good for you :) I will have to mix it up a little as heading in to Autumn here in NZ but it will be the perfect antidote to all the Ottolenghi pancakes & fritters from the the last few weeks!!

  12. That salad looks wonderful, Michele.

  13. You'd be surprise but I can live on this salad. I looooooooooove green salad of all kinds.
    This one looks wonderful to me

  14. I tried this same recipe this week and wrote nearly the same line about, "It's more work than I'd normally do for a salad." But it was delicious! Loved your explanation for and the "Ombre" factor!

  15. Oh how I adore greens! I’m actually growing tons of right now, so I think I know what I can do with some of it!


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