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.
Here are some more early spring salads and sprouty goodness from our archives:
• Green Salad with Walnut Oil, Celery and Radishes
• A great post from Kathryn in San Francisco about Mâche
• Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese
• Hello Spring Salad with Sweet Cashews and Cranberries
• How To Grow Your Own Alfalfa Sprouts
• Alternative Sprouts Sandwich
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