Fruit Fresh Spring Salad is a bright salad filled with fresh spring ingredients & loaded with fruit + a crunch from roasted chickpeas! Try the Thai Basil dressing for a perfect combo!
Have you noticed? Spring is definitely here! There are birds everywhere, gorgeous colors blooming, my yard doesn’t look like a graveyard and fresh herbs are finally in my backyard…no more grocery store herbs! That spring sensation in the air definitely inspired this bowl full of color that I affectionately called Fruit Fresh Spring Salad.
Fruit is a salad’s best friend
The highlight of this salad, for me is definitely the fruit. I don’t know about you but when I get busy making a salad I find myself searching for every fruit in the house. I LOVE the juicy sweetness they bring to the salad table and I feel like they are completely underutilized when it comes to salad. So this salad was definitely overdue, since we have been packing our salads with fruit for quite a while now. I used this as a meal a few times but if you have some folks with more substantial meaty needs, it would be delicious paired with grilled chicken, steak or even shrimp!
I usually forgo croutons when it comes to salads. Although my heart loves the crunch and spectacular salty flavor, my health-focused mind reminds me they aren’t the best crunchy option. But don’t think that stopped me…
Nope. Roasted chickpeas to the rescue! These little guys have been adding crunch to my salads ever since I first tried them and I haven’t looked back. I drizzle some olive oil over them, season and pop them in the oven while I make my salad and they are ready just in time to toss with my salad. I often mix up the seasonings for these but good ole salt and pepper were the perfect compliment to the already loaded bowl of greens.
A little salad game-changer
So, you have this gorgeous rainbow salad with its bright green kiwi’s, thinly sliced mini cucumbers, peak-of-the-season strawberries, sweet baby peppers adding their spark of color, juicy tomatoes beaming with their glory and crispy golden chickpeas nestling into each little corner they can and you are thinking, yep, we are done here. You could definitely be right! And it would be mind-blowingly delicious (<-you are saying…we are talking about a salad right?!), but before you face-plant into your rainbow, we have to talk about the Thai Basil Vinaigrette!
Yes. Thai Basil is a thing and it’s wild. I fell in love with it a couple weeks ago when I saw it in the store and decided it was a need. Wasn’t sure what it was going to be used in but it was definitely finding a home in the next week’s meals. Well I starting tossing vinaigrette ingredients into my mini food processor and reached for some regular basil and then the light bulb above my head reminded me there was a certain Thai version that was waiting for it’s turn to wow me. I figured this was as good a time as any to give it a whirl and results: game-changer! It has a deliciously spicy tang compared to my usual sweet basil and adds the perfect balance for this mostly sweet salad! You will definitely have leftovers of this dressing but you will thank me…or you will do what I did and completely drown everything in it and won’t have those leftovers. This vinaigrette would be incredible with those chicken bowls from a couple weeks ago. Just sayin.
This salad will be a must for our spring, summer…well, all year. And I am already imagining how PEEERTAYY this will look at a summer picnic! You know the pretty food is always a favorite ?
If you try this recipe, make sure you post a photo on the socials [Instagram|Twitter|Facebook|Pinterest] and use the hash tag #wordslikehoneycomb so we can see! It’s my favorite to see your creations! ?
*I am currently working behind the scenes to get Words Like Honeycomb recipes in the My Fitness Pal recipe archive (EEK! ?) but with your MyFitnessPal account you can add this post url to the recipe adder to find approximate nutritional info*
- 1 head of spinach
- ½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 kiwi, peeled and diced
- 3 mini cucumbers, sliced thinly (I used my mandolin!)
- 10 strawberries, diced
- 4 sweet mini peppers, sliced thinly (I used my mandolin!)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
Thai Basil Vinaigrette:
- 6-7 medium Thai basil leaves
- 2 lemons, squeezed
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Chickpeas:Drain, rinse and pat dry a can of chickpeas. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add to a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes for extra crispy (20 minutes if you don't like as much crunch). Add to the salad when roasting is complete.
Salad: Prep all salad ingredients (rinse veggies & fruit and chop or dice as necessary). Combine in a large bowl and set aside or chill while you make the vinaigrette.
Vinaigrette: Combine all vinaigrette ingredients into a mini food processor and blend or pulse for about 30 seconds or until well-combined. Top salad with desired amount of dressing and serve.
If you plan on leftovers, do not add the vinaigrette to the entire salad to achieve the best salad each time!