Summer is here, temperatures are hot and nothing sounds better than a cooling, refreshing salad. But, salads do not have to be boring and ordinary! They give you an opportunity to eat more greens, try new local seasonal produce growing in your area, and try a light meal that will hydrate you and not weigh you down.
Some of my favorite things to add to summer salads are fruit like berries, melon, apples or oranges; nuts or seeds like walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds; protein like chickpeas, kidney beans, and sprouted lentils; veggies other than greens like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and beets; and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, parsley, and thyme. Get creative and mix it up every time so you never get bored.
Today we chose to highlight arugula, also known as rocket, in this zesty salad. Arugula has a spicy peppery flavor and is full of calcium, vitamin C, P, K and iron. Fennel also adds a spicy kick to this salad, which is why I add sweet tomato and apple to balance those flavors.
It’s paired with a creamy lemon dressing that uses tahini and miso to give it the texture of a dairy dressing without the heart-clogging fat. Miso, a fermented soybean paste, is known for it’s medicinal properties such as increased immunity and protection against cancer. It not only adds a creamy texture but also adds seasoning and depth to the dressing.
The star of this dressing is the lemon! Lemons are a powerhouse of vitamins and they are at their peak during the summer months. Full of vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons are alkalizing to the body, antibiotic in nature, and one study showed they are helpful in battling arthritis. And they just taste good and give you a pep in your step!
Arugula Fennel Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- 1 5 ounce package arugula
- 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 cup apple, sliced
- 1/2 cup sprouts
Creamy Lemon Dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon shallot
- Salt, to taste
- Filtered water, as needed
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl in a decorative manner.
- Blend all the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth and well combined.
- Add a bit of water to get the texture you prefer.
- Serve salad with a drizzle of dressing on top.
Salad Image Source: Christy Morgan