Straight From the Heart

National Salad Month may not get the same fanfare as other, more decadent food holidays, but it’s about time that all changed. After all, salad isn’t limited to the sad, pale iceberg mixtures most of the country associates with the word. Salad can truly be a mixture of anything, nebulously defined only as a mixture containing a specified ingredient served with a dressing. Restrictive? Bland? If you think salads are boring, then you’re just not tossing them right.

Truth be told, I would have had no idea that salads got a whole calendar month of celebration if not for the friendly reminder sent out by Driscoll’s and California Endive Farms. Salads of some variety make an appearance on my table every single day, so their offer of free greenery and berries was one I couldn’t resist.

Hemming and hawing over the best way to feature these ingredients without going with the typical endive boat presentation, it seemed an impossible task to pin down the perfect salad composition, considering the endless options. Ultimately, it was a combination of Mother’s Day approaching and the realization that I had a whole lot of heart[s] that inspired this dainty combination. Hearts are a surprisingly common ingredient in my kitchen once I began to riffle through the pantry, found in the form of artichokes, hearts of palm, hemp, and the endive itself. A bright, punchy, yet delicate dressing of grapefruit and cayenne gives the salad some kick, without smothering the vegetables’ subtle nuances. Of course, the “cherry on top” is actually a strawberry in this case, cut into sweet heart shapes.

It’s the extra little touches that go a long way, so although it would taste just as good with plain old strawberry slices, take an extra two minutes to show mom that you care.

Heart-Felt Endive Salad

4 Red and/or Green Endive Hearts
1 14-Ounce Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts, Drained
1 14-Ounce Can Hearts of Palm, Drained, Halved or Quartered if Large
4 Red and/or Green Endive Hearts
1/2 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Cut into Heart Shapes
1 – 2 Tablespoons Hemp Hearts
Fresh Chives, Thinly Sliced
Fresh Basil

Dressing:

2 Tablespoons Grapefruit Juice
2 Teaspoons Maple Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Prepare the dressing first so that it’s ready to go when you are. Simply whisk the grapefruit juice, maple syrup, and mustard together in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify. Season with salt and add cayenne pepper to taste. Set aside.

Cut off and discard the woody bottoms, separating the leaves of the endive. Toss them into a large bowl along with the artichokes and hearts of palm. To cut your strawberries into heart shapes, begin by slicing them in half, and then cut a triangular notch out of the top. You can further shave down the sides to round them out if desired, but that starts to get a bit fussy, if you ask me. Add the berries in as well, along with the hemp hearts. Drizzle in the dressing, toss thoroughly to combine and coat all of the vegetables. Finish with the fresh herbs, roughly tearing the basil leaves if large. Serve immediately.

Printable Recipe

Driscoll’s and California Endive Farms sent me free produce but did not pay for nor require coverage. All opinions and recipes remain solely my own.

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21 thoughts on “Straight From the Heart

  1. The basil must taste fantastic with your tangy dressing. National Salad Month sounds like a winner. I’m sharing this one to Facebook. The dressing is too inspired not to share.

  2. I think salads are underrated and they should deserve more attention. The endive salad with strawberries and artichokes look so fresh and beautiful. I would happily tuck into it. Love the sound of the dressing. Should give that a go some time soon!

  3. What a beautiful salad! This kind of thing is right up my alley – simple with clean flavors, and eye catching to boot. Complimenti!

  4. A most beautiful salad that promises to be a gustatory delight for your mum. Hope she has a great Mother’s Day. Strangely enough, we share a Mother’s Day! Usually your holidays don’t tend to coincide with ours but this one does so I will have all of my (adult) children here on Serendipity Farm celebrating with a communal feast :)

      1. Just try stopping them :) Steve is taking them to pick me out something for mothers day from them as well. Lucky me eh? :)

  5. What a stunning “loving” salad using these beautiful endive & artichoke hearts and strawberries! I saw some cute strawberries at the market two days ago and I was so tempted to get them, but I got loads of greens instead to make myself juices ;( now I really want strawberries after looking at this heavenly beautiful plate! I’ve never tried grapefruit juice in dressings before, I bet these are tasty than the orange-based dressings!

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