Green Greens Salad with Basil Ranch Dressing
I created this salad in the mid 1970’s for an “Ecology Themed” pot luck dinner. Over the years it has evolved to incorporate more modern & healthful ingredients and has become my Signature Salad Dish. It’s an especially fun salad for St. Patrick’s Day & Earth Day.
If you make smaller sized, individual salads or one very large tossed salad, it will be a great addition to your Christmas holiday dinner. Just be sure to add some red items to the salad, such as tomatoes, red bell pepper, radicchio, sliced cooked beets, dried cranberries, pomegranate arils etc… to make it Christmas themed & festive. Also, you can pick up some themed holiday decorations at your local craft store to decorate your salad plates and/or table. The most important thing is to make it your own & have fun with it!
Basil Ranch Dressing yield: approximately 2 cups / 8 servings
Basil Ranch Dressing Ingredients & Directions
Place the following ingredients in a blender or bullet & process till smooth. Refrigerate at least 6 hours allowing the ingredients to marry & attain maximum flavor. Shake/mix before serving. Use up leftovers within a few days.
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup Hellman’s Real or Smart Balance mayonnaise
1/4 to 1/2 cup organic milk, depending on how thick you like your dressing (see Tip# 1)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, loosely packed
8 baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper, 5 to 8 pepper mill turns
Green Greens Salad Ingredients & Directions
On a dinner plate, for the base of each salad, use a mixture of any or all of the following:
Romaine lettuce leaves, torn
Butter/Boston lettuce leaves, torn
Baby kale leaves
Baby spinach leaves
Baby chard leaves
Bok choy leaves, torn
On top of your salad base; arrange a desired amount of any or all of the following green items in the order listed:
broccoli florets, small bite-sized
green beans, cut up, cooked crisp-tender & chilled
snow peas, remove tips & strings, cooked crisp-tender & chilled
green bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
asparagus spears, raw, cut off bottom woody parts & cut into thirds
avocado, cut up (see Tip# 2)
kiwi, peeled, sliced & quartered
green olives, whole or sliced
edamame (whole soybeans)
sprouts – either alfalfa, broccoli or sunflower
pumpkin seeds, green
pistachio nuts, shelled & halved or roughly chopped
For maximum visual effect; garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or few edible flowers, such as daylilies, nasturiums, marigolds or pansies.
Tips & Suggestions
1. You can substitute an equal amount of unsweetened, plain almond or cashew milk.
2. If using avocado, keep in mind that it will start to turn brown once the air hits it unless you toss it in a little lemon juice or just serve the salad right away.
3. Use organic vegetables & fruit whenever possible.