Spring Greens Salad

It’s time to renew. This applies to our outer worlds as well as to our inner worlds. Spring has traditionally been a time to jump-start the liver and gently cleanse our bodies.  The natural world, with its infinite wisdom, provides us every opportunity to do just this. Bitter and nutrient-packed greens come to life, and for those of us paying attention to nature’s hints, provide us with delicious and nutritious Spring tonics.

Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, and also, provide a bitter kick that helps support liver function.  This is important during spring because the hepatic function can become naturally a little sluggish after a more sedentary winter filled with rich seasonal food.  Violet-greens and chickweed are super-packed with nutrients, making them just the spring pick-me-up your body needs.  Young greens of dandelion and violet especially are ideal, for both texture and taste reasons.  You’ll need to find a good place to harvest your wild greens–fields or lawns that are not sprayed and that don’t get a lot of dog traffic (i.e avoid the side of a trail in a busy park where dogs constantly relieve themselves), and that are at least 20 feet away from the road.  Note that if you don’t have access to wild greens, most natural foods stores carry fresh dandelion greens.  You can eat them straight up or replace the violet and chickweed with any other salad greens.

1 Cup of Young Dandelion Greens
⅓ Cup of Young Violet Leaves
⅓ Cup Chickweed (Optional if you can find it)
¼ Cup Grated Carrot
A handful of violet flowers as garnish

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, raw
1 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste (note, you may not need to add salt due to the tamari)

(Note, this recipe makes dressing for more than one salad.  Save what you don’t use in a jar for next time.)

Mix the greens and grated carrot in a salad bowl. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Add 3 Tbsp of dressing to the greens, tossing well. Sprinkle violet flowers over the greens and then serve.