Happy Spring Forward Day! And what better way to burst into springtime (spring starts next weekend, March 20th) than with a farmer's market inspired Spring Forward Salad with lush spring greens like spicy arugula, velvety edible flowers, juicy blood oranges and organic carrot dimes. Drizzled over top is my homemade "bottled copycat" recipe for Poppyseed Dressing...
blood orange (the only salad ingredient not from the Greenmarket)..
Poppyseed Dressing. I love making my own dressing, but I'll admit I've also fallen in love with a few bottled brands over the years. For a while I was obsessed with Annie's Goddess Dressing. Then I fell in love with Zesty French dressing. Then there was my love of all things 'Balsamic Vinegar/Oil' and then tahini dressing. Then I moved on to Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing. Sweet, light, creamy. So why not make it myself!..
Farmer's Market Salad with fleurs. This entire lovely spring salad is created from goodies picked up at the Union Square Greenmarket here in NYC. It's amazing the difference in taste and texture between even the best store bought salad brands and farm fresh greens. These greens were so good I literally could eat then like chips - by the green handful. I also picked up these spicy/flavorful edible flowers at the market. Edible flowers on salads are like the 'cherry on top' of ice cream sundaes.
a perfect lunch!.. (added spelt bread with sun dried tomato hummus)..
A few popular edible flowers varieties..
Squash Blossom – Sweet, tender. Perfect for stuffing and frying. Filled with your favorite cheese or bean spread. Very seasonal and regional.
Rose – usually used as rose extract, but some varieties of rose are edible. Sweet, bold, strong aroma. Lovely in desserts.
Pansy – Popular edible flower for salads and spring soups. Mild to spicy in flavor. Tender and delicate to bite.
Honeysuckle – you may have sucked on sweet, honey-smelling honeysuckle flowers as a kid. I know I did! But you may not want to eat these flowers. Honeysuckle berries are not edible.
Dandelion – buttery, nice seasoned and boiled.
Chamomile – classiclly known for brewing a lovely calming tea. Try this Calm Chamomile smoothie!
Saffron - known and loved as “the most expensive” spice on the planet. Saffron is the stigmas of the crocus sativa flower.
*Always make sure your are buying truly edible flowers from a trusted vendor. Only experienced gardeners should pick and chew from their own garden.
Learn more about edible flowers.
organic Greenmarket greens (mixed blend)
1 blood orange, peeled/sliced into rounds
1 small carrot, sliced into dimes
Vegan Poppseed Dressing
makes about 1 cup (so you will have leftovers)
2 Tbsp Vegan mayo (aka, Vegenaise)
2 tsp spicy Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 tsp shallots, finely chopped
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Directions for dressing:
Wisk all ingredients very well - I used a mini foaming wand to blend well. A small beater would also do the trick.
Modify! if you'd like..
For a creamier dressing: add more vegan mayo or reduce the vinegar a tad
For a sweeter dressing: add more agave or maple
For a lighter dressing: remove the excess olive oil and add more lemon juice as needed to achieve desired consistency