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Sleek Spring Salads

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As fresh and crunchy spring vegetables start appearing, salads get increasingly easier to incorporate into your diet. You can even replace lettuce entirely with denser, longer-lasting choices like radishes and asparagus or tender seasonal greens like watercress.

Polish Cucumber-Radish Salad (Mizeria): serves four

This fresh, crunchy salad pairs perfectly with grilled lamb or roast chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 8 radishes, scrubbed and sliced thinly into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preparation:

In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, shallots, garlic, vinegar, sugar, dill, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl or serving platter, combine cucumbers and radishes. Toss with yogurt dressing, to coat. Serve chilled; sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Cauliflower Slaw: serves six to eight

A fun twist on the traditional cabbage coleslaw, this picnic-perfect salad features thinly sliced raw cauliflower, raisins and almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 pound red or green cabbage, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Sultana raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see note) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon


Preparation:

Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, poppy seeds and sugar; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using a food processor with a slicing disk, a mandolin or a knife, thinly slice cauliflower and cabbage. Toss cauliflower and cabbage with dressing, onions, raisins, almonds and tarragon. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 to allow flavors to meld.

Notes:

Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes.

Radish and Mango Salad: serves four to six

Sweet and crunchy, this fresh salad is a breeze to put together.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces arugula or baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves


Preparation:

In a small bowl, whisk together lime zest and juice, vinegar and honey. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking, to create an emulsified vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine mango, radishes, cucumbers, arugula and mint. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently to coat right before serving.


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