No, thank you. I prefer drama on my salad plate.

Be it beets from the farmers’ market, greens from the garden or fat asparagus spears from our suddenly producing patch, nothing says “spring” like an entree-worthy, overly dramatic salad.

Here, three of our favorites. They’re healthy, easy and filling. Eat them alone, or share them with your mother. (She’ll enjoy this kind of drama!)

beet salad

Beet, Orange & Goat Cheese Salad

  • 3 medium-size beets (fresh or pre-cooked & vacuum-packed)
  • 2 large oranges (I like cara cara), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup thinly sliced spinach
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil

If using fresh beets: Scrub them well, then place them on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly, place in a pan and roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until tender. Cool slightly, then peel.

Cut the beets into wedges. Set aside.

Lay the spinach down the center of a large platter. Place the orange slices on top. Place the beets along both sides of the orange slices. Crumble the goat cheese over everything.

Whisk the sherry vinegar and walnut oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon over the salad. Serve immediately.

***

salad greens

Baby Greens & Red Salad

  • 3-4 cups mixed baby greens (I use spinach, kale, chard and butter lettuce)
  • 3/4 cup sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion, soaked in ice water to remove the bite, then well-drained and dried
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red radishes
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the greens, cherries, onion and radishes in a large salad bowl.

Place the shallot in a small bowl and pour the vinegar over it. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing.

***

asparagus

Roasted Asparagus Salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Place the asparagus in a cast-iron skillet. Toss with enough olive oil so the vegetables are moist. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

Place the skillet on a heated grill or in a 400-degree oven. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring the asparagus after 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the herbs and lemon juice and stir well. Serve immediately.

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