This is a feel-good salad, especially in the winter when fresh flavors are hard to come by. Here in Boston, the days are getting longer, but they are not getting warmer. This means that soups, roasts, and oven-baked meals are still in full rotation. When I find myself craving something light and easy to prepare, I make this salad. Between the crunchy carrots—the sweet, bright orange slices—and the smooth, nutty avocado—it’s as refreshing as stepping outside and feeling the freezing cold air on your face.
My favorite part of this salad is the dressing. It’s a combination of orange juice, ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Its sweet, salty and bright flavors provide the perfect background for our other ingredients.
If you’re a planner, you can prepare the dressing, the broccolini and the carrots ahead of time.
If not, that’s okay. This salad comes together really quickly. The cooked broccolini make the salad feel more like a meal, while the avocado and sunflower seeds add a little fat to keep you full. This salad will lift you right out of winter, even if only for a few minutes!
This recipe makes (3) medium salads or (2) large salads.
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp orange juice
4 – 4 1/2 cups loosely packed spring mix
2 medium carrots
1 bunch (about 6-8 ounces) broccolini
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
Prepare the dressing by combining the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and orange juice in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Peel the carrots and cut them into matchsticks. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. Add a couple pinches of salt. Meanwhile, wash, drain and cut the broccolini (stalks and florets) into 1 1/2 – 2-inch pieces. Once your water is boiling, throw in your broccolini stalks and allow them to boil for 1 minute. Throw in your florets and allow them to boil for another 1 – 2 minutes. They should now be a beautiful bright green color. Drain the broccolini with a colander, place them back in the pot, and cover them with cold water and 2 ice cubes.
While the broccolini is cooling down, peel your orange and divide it into segments. Slice the avocado. Drain the broccolini and begin assembling.
Prepare your bowl by layering the spring mix, broccolini, carrots, avocado and orange slices. Drizzle with dressing and top with sunflower seeds.
If you feel like incorporating some additional toppings, here are some of my favorites:
fried tofu cubes