Salads
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Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Onion, Baby Lettuce Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Chopped Hazelnuts

 

Pour some sugar on me, salad baby!  This salad is bursting with Summer and sweetness and color.  The fruit and poppy seed combo is nothing new (who doesn’t love a lemon poppy seed cake?!), but when combined with the tang and bite of red onion and buttery baby greens, the mix just comes alive and skips on your tastebuds.  Making this salad was a lot of fun, and it was even more fun to eat.  The sweetest part about this salad is the low-calorie value–Livestrong.com/MyPlate tells me the dressing is only 70 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.  The dressing comes straight from the sweetest cook on TV, Paula Deen, while the salad mix is my own.  Enjoy!

I started with some gorgeous strawberries and concord grapes from the farmers market in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  The grapes were supplied by Red Jacket Orchards.  Concord grapes are my new favorite grape (and maybe fruit… though the Honeycrisp apple really is sooooo fantastic.)  They are bursting with flavor and taste exactly like Welch’s grape juice.  They do have seeds, which is a little annoying, but it makes me savor each one.  I halved the grapes and removed the seeds for this salad–a definite labor of love.  If you don’t have the patience for this or can’t find concord grapes, you could easily substitute other red grapes or blueberries.  I thinly sliced the strawberries and the red onions.  Meanwhile, I lightly toasted and chopped a handful of hazelnuts.

I filled a salad bowl with mixed baby greens (mesclun or baby romaine will work) and topped it with the sliced strawberries, concorn grapes, and red onions.  Meanwhile I mixed together the dressing in a lidded container–composed of poppy seeds, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil.  I spooned the dressing over the salad mixture, tossed to combine, and topped each serving with the chopped hazelnuts.

Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Onion, Baby Lettuce Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Chopped Hazelnuts

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients
10 ounces of mesclun greens or baby romaine
2 cups of strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 cup of concord grapes, sliced in half, seeds removed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Poppy Seed Dressing
adapted from Paula Deen, FoodNetwork.com

Dressing Ingredients
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar (this was a little too sweet for me–I would probably reduce to 1/4 cup next time)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions
1.  For the dressing: In a small glass bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, oil, and poppy seeds. Whisk together in the glass bowl or shake if using a jar.  Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
2.  Add the greens, strawberries, grapes, and red onion to a large salad bowl.  Spoon the dressing over the mixture until well coated.  Mix to combine.  Serve into individual salad bowls.  Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.

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