Everything you need to know about making rainbow salad

Bring on that healthy spring glow with these colorful, crunchy veggies.
Rainbow Salad

Fill the bowl of your salad spinner with cold water. Place trimmed leaves inside, working in batches if necessary. Submerge and gently agitate the greens. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom. Lift out the basket and drain the bowl. Return the basket to the bowl, and spin like it’s your day’s exercise. Pour out water and repeat until there’s no more liquid.

The fresh, raw, aliveness of salad aids that transition from winter to spring, waking up our bodies and giving us the healthful glow we crave. Salads are wonderful for letting our creativity shine, even if you have no lettuce—but if you do, feel free to add it!

You have the liberty to use whatever available produce you might have in your garden. Rainbow carrots of purple, orange and gold are especially fun. Radishes always lend fun color as well as peppery flavor whether they are red, purple or the popular bright pink of watermelon radishes. The green of thinly sliced, humble celery can shine all alone in this recipe. Soak them in ice water for extra crunch. For even more sound, snap and flavor, throw in some croutons. Add fennel, peppers, apples, cabbage or pickled vegetables. We used home-fermented turmeric cauliflower to create a polychromatic vibrancy that adds pop to your plate and your palate.

Rainbow Salad

  • 6 anchovy filets (if you are anchovy-phobic, substitute a teaspoon of Dijon mustard plus a small splash of vinegar and even some lemon zest)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/2 a squeezed lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice)
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced and soaked in an ice bath
  • 1/2 red bell pepper and/or organic red apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 orange carrots, cut into rounds
  • 1/2 cup yellow turmeric-infused, pickled cauliflower (see instructions, right)
  • 1 large watermelon radish, thinly sliced with a mandolin 
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded

Whisk together first six ingredients until emulsified.

Drain celery from ice bath.

Toss all ingredients together, adjusting with lemon juice, salt and pepper to your liking. 

Turmeric-infused pickled cauliflower

Divide a whole cauliflower into small florets and pack them into a jar. Add 2 teaspoons grated, fresh turmeric (or 1 teaspoon dried) and 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns. Using 2 teaspoons salt for each cup of filtered water, create enough brine to fully cover the cauliflower. Use one of the thick leaves to press the florets down until they are submerged. Put the lid on the jar and let them ferment for 3-4 weeks in a dark, cool spot.

Ferment Fever

Fermented vegetables are tangy and full of probiotics for optimal gut health. You can substitute radishes for the cauliflower to get turmeric-infused pickled radishes—delish!

All Dressed Up

The usual ratio for basic vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar. But why not “dress” it up for added flavor? Almost anything goes: herbs, spices, mustard, honey. And if you like it hot, stir in some chili flakes. Woo-hoo!

Salad Tricks to Try

  • Rub the salad bowl with raw garlic for a pleasant background note of garlic throughout.
  • Make the dressing right in the salad bowl before you put the salad in. Toss when you’re ready to eat.
  • Season your greens with a touch of salt and pepper. Fresh produce shines with a hit of salt and pepper, too.
  • Add avocado, nuts and cheese for extra flavor.
  • For a protein boost, stir in lima or garbanzo beans or bring in a few sliced hard-boiled eggs.
  • Don’t let those leftovers go to waste. Try mixing in leftover potatoes, rice, noodles, veggies—heck, just throw in whatever you’ve got. Yum!
  • Serve in a shallow bowl to prevent the leaves from escaping the plate.

Categories: Food & Drink, Recipe Top Story