Colorful Arugula Salad with Blackberry Dill Dressing & Garlic Croutons

Keeping my New Year’s resolution to try and eat salad once in a while…

I started growing some baby kale in the sun room a few weeks ago, and this week I’ll be planting a bit of lettuce, swiss chard, mache and arugula. It’s not much, one small window box of each for now, but somehow it’s just enough to satisfy my gardening needs until the spring gardening season comes around.

Which got me thinking about how I utilize what I grow indoors. Typically the greens wind up in soups, stir fries or sandwiches, but I rarely seem to use them to make salads. To be honest with you, I’m typically not a huge salad fan. Maybe it’s the oil based dressings. Or the icky taste of under ripe, out of season tomato slices. Or the raw, shredded carrots that I’m horribly allergic to that often seek refuge in the iceburg lettuce chunks in restaurant side salads. It’s hard to find the allure in eating cold, slimy food that might also send me inadvertently racing for my epi pen.

But last week blackberries were on sale and I had a big bag of arugula in the fridge at home. Two days later, after much trial and error and tinkering, my family was snarfing down the new salad creation! To my surprise, all the kids liked the dressing and one of them even ate the arugula! They also thought that the pink salad dressing was festive and fun. The garlic croutons were probably the biggest hit though, because well, who doesn’t like carbs? And carbs combined with butter and garlic are even better.

The peppery bite of the arugula is tempered by the sweet, creamy blackberry dill dressing and the nuts add a nice bit of crunch. All the colors make the salad visually appealing, too. It’s like eating a healthy rainbow.

On a final note, be sure to use unsweetened coconut yogurt, not sweetened. And use real maple syrup, not table syrup or that corn syrup laden stuff in a plastic bottle passing itself off as maple syrup. It just won’t give you the same flavor as the real deal.

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