To fight the February blahs, the Globe is featuring seven recipes each week showcasing one of the most convenient, flavour-packed, endlessly changeable dishes ever: salad! Have your own salad dish to share? Tweet or Instagram a picture with #friendswithsalad (don't forget to list ingredients!).
1. Virtuous Greens
Kale and Brussels sprouts team up in what may (surprisingly) become one of your favourite combinations. Tender textures and bright, fresh notes from the lemon deliver lots of flavour, and matchstick strips of Granny Smith apple add a tart contrast to the agave in the dressing. Wash and prep a half bunch of curly kale by removing any tough stalks. Slice into thin strips. Put into a medium bowl and add 12 shredded Brussels sprouts (cut the stem off and slice in half vertically then slice each half thinly into strips.) and ¾ cup green apple cut into matchsticks. For the dressing combine: 1 tablespoon chopped shallots, 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 2 teaspoons agave, ½ cup fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss salad with dressing (start with half and add more if you need it). Garnish with sunflower seeds or chopped hazelnuts. (You can start with 1/4 cup lemon juice to tone down tartness but then also start with only 1 teaspoon agave and adjust both as needed). – Sue Riedl
2. The Bangkok Bowl
4. Power Lunch
5. Tuscan Winter
An elegant, full-flavoured salad that works well served simply with some cheese, charcuterie and baguette for a leisurely meal. Packs well in Tupperware for lunch, dress just before eating. Shave 1 small fennel bulb on a mandolin (or chop into fine strips). Add 11/2 cups sliced grapes, 20 kalamata olives, pitted and halved, and 6 dried figs (stems removed) cut into small pieces. Drizzle with your best olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add a touch of honey for sweetness (optional) and a handful of chopped hazelnuts. Toss, adjust seasoning and serve. You can make the dressing separately if you’d like to prepare it in advance. Serves 4 to 6 as a side. – Sue Riedl