A Spring Greens Salad That Will Make You Rethink Salads

When it comes to a great salad, sometimes simple is best.

There’s more to greens than sautéed spinach. This month, we’ve partnered with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and her favorite recipes using greens.

There is so much to say about the anatomy of a salad, and yet it shouldn’t be something that is over complicated. Spring brings along so much produce that now is then time when the variety of salad combinations really peaks.

It Starts with the Greens
Butter lettuce is great for plated salads because you can stack the leaves high, creating a dramatic and beautiful presentation. When making larger, chopped salads, mix greens for a nice monochromatic look — think kale and romaine, red leaf and baby spinach or mixed greens and some frisee.

First, make sure greens are clean and dry so the dressing sticks and the salad won’t get soggy. One main goal is to vary the texture of the salad, so start with a tender green, crunchy vegetable and toasty nut, and add a creamy cheese topping, something sweet like a fresh or dried fruit (when appropriate) and a generously-seasoned dressing. 

If you have a mandolin, bring it out especially for salads. Shaving vegetables paper thin makes them easier to eat in a salad (and they look pretty to boot). Think of multi-colored carrots, fennel, celery — all vegetables that are great in salads but much easier to eat when sliced thin.

Choosing the Best Ingredients
Before you start, think of different produce that may play well off each other and contrast on a plate and in your mouth. Most people, having been subject to one too many basic green salads of iceberg, out of season tomato wedges, hunks of cucumber and ranch, think salads are the boring part of a meal. Instead, make your salad colorful and pretty — spring is the time to eat with your eyes, with all the fruit and vegetables at your whim. You can always make a salad a meal by adding some cooked lentils, grilled chicken or a poached egg on top if need be.

The potential for spring greens salads are endless. Simply focus on variety, fresh crisp greens and a knockout dressing.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Toasting nuts in your Electrolux wall oven? Perfect Taste™ Convection will ensure an even roast without burning.

Spring Salad with Quinoa, Hazelnuts and Peas

"With this salad, I tried to keep with a spring theme. I added a radish for crunch and some peas that are both sweet and pretty against the greens. A moderate amount of quinoa helps makes the salad a bit more filling, too." -Sara

Servings: 4 side salads



  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup water or broth
  • 1 head butter lettuce, cleaned and dried
  • 2 small watermelon radish, shaved paper thin
  • 1/4 cup fresh, blanched peas
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled


  • 2 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Into a small pot, combine the quinoa and water or broth. Bring it up to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, leave the cover ajar and allow it to cool completely. This can be done up to two days in advance and will make more than you need for this recipe.

While the quinoa cools, make your dressing. In a small blender or food processing, combine the shallot, Dijon, thyme, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper. Blend to mix well. Add the oil and blend again until smooth.

Note: This dressing is an oft-used mustard vinaigrette, which coincidentally goes well with all things spring. This recipe for dressing will make enough for the salad but double the amounts if you’d like to have extra on hand.

Pull away the butter lettuce leaves and combine them in a large mixing bowl along with about 1/4 cup of the completely cooled quinoa, radishes and peas. Drizzle on desired amount of dressing and toss everything gently to coat. Plate your salads with about four leaves, stacked with the largest on the bottom and smaller leaf on top. Make sure each serving gets some of the quinoa on the leaves, a few of the dressed radish and peas. Sprinkle the tops with the hazelnuts, goat cheese and a grind of fresh black pepper. Enjoy immediately.

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