Julia's spring salad
During my trip to Ottawa a couple weeks ago, I went over to my sister Julia's house for dinner after a really relaxing Sunday evening yoga class at Elevate Yoga. We hadn't done any groceries or made plans for dinner, but ended up eating together at her house after the class. She told me on the way home that she came up with a plan for a tasty vegetarian dinner during our final Shavasana - who ever said you can't meditate over food to close out a yoga practice?! We ended up having a really lovely meal of tamari tofu steaks (which were already marinating in the fridge) and corn on the cob, along with this super fresh spring salad. Amazing.
While she prepared the tofu steaks and the corn, she instructed me on how to make the salad. To a large salad bowl we added some baby spinach, lots of coarsely chopped fresh dill (one of her favourite herbs for fresh salads), and some shredded purple cabbage that she had prepared earlier on in the week. Then we added some sliced cucumber and a diced ripe avocado, some chopped kalamata olives and a good crumbling of tangy feta cheese. To finish the salad off, we added a lovely mixture of pepitas and sunflower seeds for some crunch and extra protein. And to tie it all together, we topped it with a mustard-tamari-cider dressing.
This salad was good... like, really good. Easy to pull together, but complex in flavour, colour and texture. Awesome in all its simplicity. It was crunchy from the cabbage, seeds and cucumber, creamy from the avocado and feta, and kissed with strong herbal tones from the fresh dill. Essentially what I like to call salad perfection. Which is why I am sharing the recipe with you today!
A couple things to note about this salad. If you are not crazy about fresh dill (or if you have never tried fresh dill before), I would start with just a touch and work from there. That's because fresh dill has a very strong and distinctive flavour. I personally love it and would be tempted to put it on pretty much everything, but it is an acquired taste. If you would like to make this salad vegan, this can easily be done by substituting some tofu for the feta. Taifun makes some really great flavoured tofu (hello olive and basilico tofu!) which I think would make great substitutes for the feta.
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do - and big thank you to Julia for letting me share the recipe here with you today!
Julia's spring salad
This recipe is based on an amazingly fresh salad I had at my sister Julia's house during a recent visit to Canada. It's loaded with crunch from toasted seeds and fresh veggies and is super creamy thanks to ripe avocado and feta cheese. If you are not a dill fanatic like we are, I suggest reducing the quantity of dill in this recipe (or subbing in dried dill and adding it to the salad dressing instead). If you'd like to make this recipe vegan, simply substitute the feta cheese with some crumbled tofu.
- 5 cups baby spinach (about 1 small 115g bag)
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup shredded white cabbage
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (about 15 olives, pitted)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill (about 1 small 25g bunch)
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds, plus more to serve
- 1/4 cup toasted pepitas, plus more to serve
- 1/2 cup (about 100g) feta cheese, crumbled
- Nutritional yeast, to serve
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp raw cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1 tsp Demerara sugar
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
Add the baby spinach, purple and white cabbage, avocado, cucumber, olives, dill, seeds and feta cheese to a large salad bowl.
In a separate small bowl or jam jar, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon, tamari, sugar and garlic granules. Whisk to emulsify.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Top with additional sunflower seeds and pepitas and a dusting of nutritional yeast flakes if desired.