I have to confess ... I don't really love Valentine's Day. I think it's fun for kids to exchange cards and treats with their teachers and classmates, but as an adult, I've never really cared one way or the other for the holiday - I don't care much for chocolate (gasp!) or cut flowers; I guess I'd rather go for a hike or snowshoe and make a nice dinner at home with my partner than fight crowds of couples all attempting to get the same tables at the same nice restaurants! However, I can totally get behind the holiday-themed red and pink veggies and fruits, triple-dose of protein, and sweet-tangy homemade raspberry vinaigrette in this salad. However you decide to focus on love and friendship this week, I hope you include this salad in your celebration!
1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or thawed from frozen
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1 small shallot
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c flax oil (or more extra-virgin olive oil)
1 large or 2 medium red apples, diced
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2-4 oz steak, grilled or broiled and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 large red beet, peeled and julienned or shredded
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 head red lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Make the raspberry vinaigrette: combine the raspberries, dijon, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegars, and oils in a pint-sized mason jar. Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender. (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients in a blender or mini food processor.)
- Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers. (Reserve the remaining dressing for another use.) Layer the apple, feta, steak, bell pepper, beet, tomato, cabbage, and lettuce in the jars. Divide the almonds evenly among 4 2-oz containers or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
- Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl. Top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute your favorite prepared raspberry vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing for the homemade vinaigrette.
SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, omit the steak. For a vegan salad, omit the steak and substitute your favorite homemade or store-bought vegan feta. For gluten-free diners, choose dressing ingredients labeled "gluten-free." Substitute unsalted sunflower seeds for the almonds to accommodate tree nut allergies.
Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.