Winter gorgeous and delicious salads always make me smile, whispering that the sunshine warmth is always near. It is easy to forget the summer salad taste during the winter season, but not when there are so many healthy alternatives to enjoy a bowl of veggies. Granted, not many restaurants offer salad variations, but in this case, being a chef in your own kitchen and mastering such a sublime plate of food guaranties to bring joy and satisfaction.
This vegan friendly winter salad is a pure delight. It might look surprisingly light, yet it is completely filling and nutritious. A punch of flavour that will make you smile, feeling relaxed and revitalised, ready for new adventures. One could hardly imagine a more perfect flavour combination in a simple lunch – light and fresh green salad brought to life with half-sun-dry cherry tomatoes and a hint of basil, deep and earthy purple carrots soften with a mellow, creamy avocado, crunchy roasted pine nuts and spicy chickpeas bring the whole salad melody to a full crescendo. One could only smile, tasting winter yet dreaming for summer in every spoon-full of delight.
For the Salad
- 3 tablespoons raw pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 4 purple carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 jar oil packed sun-half-dried cherry tomatoes, oil drained and reserved
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
- Variety of green salad leaves (lettuce, rocket, spinach)
For the Lemon Vinaigrette
- juice from 1 large lemon (or 2 smaller lemons)
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until the nuts are lightly golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Slide the nuts onto a plate.
2. To the skillet, add the olive oil, chickpeas, oregano, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas are crisped all over, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the green salad leaves, the purple carrots, half-sun-dried cherry tomatoes, basil, and chives.
4. To make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to combine. Top the salad with crispy chickpeas, pine nuts and avocado.