Winter Green Salad with Cumin Dressing
This salad was inspired by Nava Atlas’ Vegetarian Express cookbook, which features a number of salads using canned and frozen mix-ins. While Nava uses these convenient foods to quickly perk up a salad, they’re also great for adding color, texture and heartiness to salads in the winter months, when tomatoes, cucumbers and other common salad standbys are out of season (and are therefore quite expensive and not very tasty.)
For the Salad
I’m just giving an ingredient listing; use amounts that best suit your household size and tastes.
- Lettuce and/or spinach
- Canned tomatoes, diced (or reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly)
- Frozen corn kernels, thawed
- Olives, black or green, sliced thinly
- Red Beans, well drained
- Cilantro, chopped, if desired for garnish
- Lettuce: A sturdier green, like Romaine, green leaf lettuce or bunch spinach will do the best job of holding up the heavier mix-ins.
- Canned Tomatoes: As always, use a high-quality brand for best flavor, like Muir Glen. So they don’t make the salad soggy, dice them, remove seeds and then drain well in a colander before adding to the salad. Fire-roasted tomatoes are a nice addition.
- Corn: For best results, remove from the freezer in the morning and thaw in the frig in a colander all day. Otherwise, just microwave 1-2 minutes and drain, or place in a colander, rinse with hot water and drain well before adding to salad.
- Rice: For a heartier salad yet, add a little warm brown rice.
For the Dressing
Fast Version: Simply add the cumin and chili flakes (noted below) to 1/4 to 1/2 cup readymade Italian dressing.
Homemade Version: Combine in the order given in a small, lidded jar. Shake well to combine. Allow to sit for at least 10-15 minutes for flavors to meld.
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
- 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. chili flakes (more or less, to taste) or black pepper, to taste
- Sea salt, to taste