One of my favorite ways to use fresh farmer’s market produce is to make a giant, beautiful salad displaying some of the goodies in a plating style that is similar to a Cobb Salad. The beauty of this idea is that you can easily use whatever seasonal produce your market is selling, and change up the selections as seasons and your tastes change.
Make Ahead Meal Approved. I love to make this salad early in the day, place it in the fridge and pull it out at dinnertime. Add some toasted bread slathered in easy hummus or vegenaise, maybe a side of broth-y soup and dinner is done. If making ahead of time just be sure to use hearty greens like kale, collards or chard.
Maple tahini dressing coats coconut-roasted, sweet potatoes, spicy chickpeas and a rainbow-colored array of fresh produce including rainbow chard, beets and some juicy-sweet golden tomatoes. And don’t forget the buttery avocado and crunchy, healthy fat-infused walnuts too.
The ingredients are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper all throughout the process to ensure that the flavor is bold, beautiful and cravable. Make it once, then make it again with a few spins. You never have to make the exact same salad twice with this handy dandy salad formula!..
Farmer’s Market Cobb Formula:
* Base: Fresh greens.
* Something warm.
* Lovely legume.
* Something crunchy.
* Something juicy.
* Healthy fat.
* Drizzled dressing.
* Something spicy or zesty.
* Nut or seed accent.
* Hint of fruit. (optional)
* Grain. (optional)
For this salad:
* Base: rainbow chard, shredded.
* Something warm: coconut-oil roasted sweet potatoes.
* Lovely legume: spicy-sweet baked chickpeas.
* Something crunchy: thinly sliced beets (I know they look like radishes, but they are actually beets! Radishes would be nice too!)
* Something juicy: golden tomatoes, diced and marinated in lemon juice, pepper and minced garlic.
* Healthy fat: diced avocado, tossed in lemon juice.
* Drizzled dressing: tahini-maple.
* Something spicy: small sweet onion, chopped.
* Nut or seed accent: raw walnuts.
(I did not add any fruit or grains to this salad, but rice, farro, a hint of berries, diced apple, summer tree fruit like peaches or mango would be nice.)
Farmer’s Market Cobb
vegan, serves 2-4
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed and dried and shredded or thinly sliced
2-3 tsp lemon juice
pinches of salt and pepper
1 cup golden tomatoes, diced
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tsp walnut oil or EVOO (optional)
1 avocado, diced
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of spices (optional)
1 beet or 2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
chickpea spices: 1/2 tsp smoky paprika, pinch of cayenne, pinch of curry powder, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of pepper, 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil, extra virgin
1 Tbsp coconut oil, extra virgin
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
for reference: sweet potato recipe here
1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice (add even more lemon juice for a thinner, zestier dressing)
pinch of salt and pepper
garnish: citrus slice(s) – I used lemon (optional)
1. Start off by preparing your chickpeas and potatoes. Toss the diced potato with one tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Lay potatoes flat on a baking dish and pop in an oven at 400 degrees. Roast for about 25-35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and edges browned. At the same time as the potatoes are cooking, you can bake the chickpeas. So add the cooked chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp of melted coconut oil, 1 tsp of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add in a few pinches of whatever spices you would like to use. I coated mine in curry, paprika and a hint of cayenne and cinnamon. Lay the chickpeas flat on a greased or lined baking sheet and place in the oven with the potatoes. After ten minutes shake the pan to toss the chickpeas a bit and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until the edges brown. Remove from oven and set aside while the potatoes finish roasting. When potatoes are done, toss with a pinch of salt and pepper and any additional spices you would like to accent. Set aside, or leave in the warm, turned off oven to stay warm.
2. While the potatoes and chickpeas are cooking you can start on your veggies. Before using your produce be sure to rinse veggies very well. I use a produce wash spray by the Honest brand that I love. Start off with the greens by rinsing and drying with a spinner or paper towels to soak up excess liquid. You want the greens base layer to be nice and dry so it can absorb flavor and keep for a few hours in the fridge (if needed) without getting mushy. Toss the prepped greens with 2-3 tsp of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Layer them in the bottom of your serving platter. I used a deep pie dish.
3. Toss the diced tomatoes with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, the minced garlic, onion, optional walnut or olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow the tomatoes to marinate in that mixture for at least five minutes. After five minutes (or longer) pour the tomatoes onto the greens, including the leftover liquid that they were soaking in.
4. Add the diced avocado, tossed in lemon juice, over top the greens.
5. Add the beets or radishes.
6. Add the nut/seed accent, I added walnuts.
7. The last addition to the platter is those warm ingredients. Add the warm chickpeas and potatoes over top the greens. You can serve this salad hot/cold with the crisp veggies paired with the warm legumes and potatoes, or you can place everything in the fridge to chill. Both ways are delicious! You could also make the salad ahead of time and wait to make the warm ingredients right before serving.
8. The last step is the dressing. Whisk together the dressing. You can pour the dressing over the salad right before serving or pour it over now and allow it to marinate into the veggies for a few hours if making ahead of time. Garnish with fresh citrus slices like lemon.
Serve! Add a little bit of everything to each serving bowl. or if you really like your salads tossed well you could serve the platter all pretty like this, then toss it all into a large salad bowl and toss well to serve.
Tip! I made EXTRA potatoes to add over top my salad to give it an extra-potato flavor which I just adored.