This Easy Salad Dressing Will Make Your Hearty Early Spring Salads Pop

The end of winter is here, and, no beating around the bush, you're ready for it to be over!

And, of course, it's not quite time for lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers fresh from the garden... yet!

I bet that I love that kind of classic salad as much as you do, especially when it's all garden fresh.

But why grumble about what's not here yet, when you can celebrate the glory of the hearty early spring salad full of what IS in season from your root cellar and/or local farms??

And guess what?

I have the best way to dress that “whatever you have in your fridge” salad to make it really pop and say “I love this!” and “I want to eat more of this!”

It has a secret ingredient that I'm going to introduce to you today, which can help you overcome your reluctance to the boringness of “plain” veggies without having to get too fancy.

Because, believe me, getting fancy takes time and money that we often don't want to spare, being busy with other worthwhile things in life like children, grandchildren, and getting outside now that the weather is nicer.

So here we go!



But first, what is a hearty early spring salad??

Now, many fall in to the trap that a salad by definition has to have lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers to count as an official salad.

But, guess what?

You can make a delicious salad with so many more things that you may have on hand in the spring before your garden really gets going.

Like what, you ask?


Farm-fresh raw veggies:

  • early baby lettuces
  • winter radishes including Daikon and watermelon (grate, thinly slice, or spiralize these!)
  • early spring radishes
  • red onions
  • Asian greens like mizuna, tatsoi, pac choi
  • spinach
  • kale
  • specialty greens like claytonia or mizuna
  • carrots (grate, thinly slice, or spiralize these!)


Other raw produce/fruit options:

  • avocado
  • pears
  • apples
  • oranges/clementines
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • dried fruits like dried cherry tomatoes, raisins, etc.


Pre-roasted veggies make an amazing topping to a hearty greens salad!  Try any combo of these warm or cold:

  • beets
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • winter squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • mushrooms
  • a medley of your favorite roasted roots


Other easy additions:

  • toasted nuts
  • cooked beans
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • leftover steak or chicken or fish
  • salami or sopressata or other cured meat



How to make a hearty early spring salad

  1. prepare your greens
  2. top with your choice of any of the above ideas for additional ingredients
  3. toss
  4. add special ingredient dressing


Easy Tahini Salad Dressing Recipe

And drum roll, the special ingredient is tahini! 

What is tahini?

It's simply ground up sesame seeds.  It's nutty, it's thick, and it's very smooth.  It's a wonderful addition to salad dressings, sauces, and more for a creamy healthy taste.  Boom!  Dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and stores at room temperature!

Note: some versions have more salt added than others so watch out how you use it and taste before you salt.

This recipe makes a quart.  You can halve it to make a pint if less is better for you. 

Store it in the fridge and bring it out a few minutes before serving to make sure it's well mixed.  The large batch is great for our family of four and encourages us to eat salads every day.

  • 2/3 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 2/3 cup vinegar of choice (I have made it with many kinds but my current favorite is white balsamic)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-3 tsp salt, to taste
  • pinch-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Blend or whisk all ingredients together and store in a quart jar in fridge for at least 2 weeks.  Add more water to thin if desired.


And wait, are you now hooked on tahini and looking for more ideas to use it to spice up your veggies??


Here are our other favorite ways to use tahini to enhance the taste of veggies


Veggie recipes:


Salad and cooked greens dressing recipes:


Hummus/dips recipes:


Have you tried using tahini to enhance your veggie eating experience? 

If so, please share with a comment below your personal favorite way of using it!  We can all benefit from hearing from each other.


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Comments (1)

Love all those dressing suggestions