As a healthy cookbook author, you might assume that I eat a lot of salads—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually HATE salads (well, at least I hate most salads), which is why I’m starting this new series where I’ll create salads that pass my very strict standards—and I’ll teach you all my secrets along the way. Up first? A super summery Strawberry Pistachio Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette.
The Strawberry Pistachio Salad
On my mission of creating salads that don’t suck, I’m only making recipes that are crave-able, filling, and really, really delicious (i.e. the opposite of a lot of salads out there). To accomplish that, there are three main secrets at play in this Strawberry Pistachio Salad.
- The greens are salted. This is critical; it adds SO much flavor and makes the greens a delicious star rather than a boring backbone.
- I added wild rice. Adding grains to salads makes them WAY more filling and hearty (not to mention, even more delicious). Since you’ll want the wild rice to be cooled when you add it to the salad, you can always make this the night before if you want.
- It’s got tons of herbs. I swapped about half of the greens for fresh herbs, which is one of the best ways to up level the flavor of salads. For this one, I went with fresh mint or basil leaves. Both make the salad so bright and fresh and perfect for summer (seriously, you don’t want to skip this step).
The Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette
While everything about this Strawberry Pistachio Salad is delicious, a great salad wouldn’t be a great salad without a tasty salad dressing. This Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette is super flavorful, but it’s also super fast and easy to make in a lidded jar. It calls for just five ingredients (plus a pinch of salt): extra virgin olive oil, the juice and zest of one lemon, mustard, honey, and poppy seeds.
To make it, simply add the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and honey to a jar and shake it vigorously until it emulsifies. Add in the salt, lemon zest, and poppyseeds and give it a good shake to incorporate. When ready to eat, just toss the greens with a very light coat of dressing. Divide between two plates or bowls, and add half the strawberries, wild rice, and pistachios on top of each (doing it this way keeps your greens from getting soggy and ensures toppings don’t sink to the bottom.) Finish with a bit more dressing, and serve.
What I eat instead of salads
If you’re still hung up on the fact that I don’t eat a ton of salads (however, this Strawberry Pistachio Salad may singlehandedly change that—or at least come close), let me introduce you to some of my other favorite veggie-packed meals.
- Green smoothies—as in every green smoothie I make is packed with TONS of veggies like greens (of course), cauliflower, avocado, and more. A few I’ve been loving lately? This Lemon Thyme smoothie, this Greeña Colada Smoothie, and this Chocolate Chai Smoothie. All are packed with veggies, and all are absolutely delicious.
- One-Pot Healthy Taco Pasta (Dairy-Free, Vegan Option)
- Veggie-Packed, One-Pan Southwestern Breakfast Skillet (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free Option)
- Meal-Prep Pesto Freezer Burritos (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan Option)
- Lastly, this Green Sauce is basically a whole salad worth of vegetables, but in sauce form, and it’s super tasty on everything from eggs to toast to, well, salads. You’ve gotta try it!
Watch the Strawberry Pistachio Salad being made!
Enjoy, and tag me if you make it on Instagram (@lizmoody)—I can’t wait to see!Print
For the salad:
- 3 cups arugula
- 2/3 cup mint or basil leaves, torn
- Fine grain mineral salt
- 1.5 cups chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked and cooled
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon (separated)
- 3/4 teaspoon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Pinch of salt
- Toss the arugula and mint (or basil) with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Make the dressing by adding olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and honey to a jar and shaking it vigorously until it emulsifies. Add the salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds and give it a good shake to incorporate.
- Toss greens with a very light coat of dressing. Divide between two plates or bowls and add half of strawberries, wild rice, and pistachios on top of each (doing it this way keeps your greens from getting soggy and ensures toppings don’t sink to the bottom). Finish with a bit more dressing and serve. Serves 2! Enjoy!
Keywords: strawberry pistachio salad