Late summer/early fall is my favorite time for salads. It really is the best of both seasons. You have the fresh summer produce like cucumbers and tomatoes but the weather is cool enough that the crisp, fall greens are able to grow. This time, into the end of October, is peak salad time. This particular salad came when I looked in my crisper drawer only to see only green items. I went to work and ended up with this spectacular summer salad. The hemp dressing pulls everything together and this simple salad is perfect for lunch or as a side for dinner.
Green Summer Salad with Herby Hemp Dressing
A simple late summer/early fall featuring fresh cucumbers and avocados all tossed with an easy vegan hemp seed based dressing.
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 4 scallions- thinly sliced on the bias through greens
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into slices
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons minced basil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, for serving
- Prep the salad ingredients as stated above, slicing everything into roughly the same size. Place in a bowl and make dressing.
- To make dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. If using a regular blender or food processor, soak the hemp seeds for an hour or so before making the dressing. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Pour roughly 1/3 cup of dressing over the salads. Toss until the salad is combined and well coated with dressing, adding more dressing or serving the salad with dressing on the side.
Tips & Tricks: This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Use it for other salads or as a sauce for grain bowls and/or roasted vegetables.
This salad works as a perfect base for adding more substantial ingredients. Try it with a handful of chickpeas, toss in leftover grains, or add cheese- it’s hard to go wrong!
Grains: This salad also lends itself well to the addition of grains. Try adding a handful of quinoa or go for something with a bit more texture like cooked spelt or oat berries.
Greens: Swap out the spinach for kale or lettuce.
Cheese: This salad is absolutely lovely with a sprinkle of salty cheese. Feta is usually my go-to option but a few shaved slices of salty vegetarian-friendly parm are also nice.
My pantry wouldn’t be complete without these powerhouse seeds. I love to use hemp seeds sprinkle of my breakfast porridges and waffles but even better, pureed with a water and the hemp seeds make for a lovely, nutrient-dense cream.