Spring's official start last Friday inspired me to make my first true spring salad. Saturday morning I skipped off to the farmers' market at Union Square hoping to find more than bruised apples and pretzels. While the asparagus and fava beans aren't exactly showing up yet, I did come across my favorite fancy greens stand, Windfall Farms, stocked with bins of fresh sprouts.
Corn and sunflower sprouts jumped out as a perfect accompaniment for the Mexican themed Goat Taco dinner party I had going that night.
How about a sweet Mexican Sprout Slaw to go with the tacos? A little pumpkin oil and lime juice might make a nice dressing, and a few handfuls of shredded purple cabbage that I originally got for the tacos would add color and texture. If you don't want to buy the pumpkin oil, olive oil or a nut oil, like walnut, is a suitable alternative. But promise me you'll try pumpkin oil at some point: it has a great flavor and a gorgeous, almost black, hue.
Mexican Sprout Slaw
Serves 6 as a small side salad
3 cups loosely packed mixed sprouts (such as sunflower, corn, alfalfa, broccoli, radish, bean, pumpkin, etc.)
1 cup loosely packed shredded purple cabbage
1/2 cup lightly toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
For the dressing:
1/4 cup pumpkin oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well. If the sprouts are particularly long (longer than you might want to try stuffing into your mouth) chop them up a bit. Add the sprouts and cabbage and toss tenderly so as not to damage the sprouts. Top with pepitas and serve.
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