Spring is coming! Spring is coming! The first peeks of growth, songbird tweets and warmer temps leave me ready for revival. And although I’m a comfort food girl at heart, I’m a veggie lover, too, and I spend my whole year finding ways to save on, and enjoy, in-season goodness.

Spring is coming! Spring is coming! The first peeks of growth, songbird tweets and warmer temps leave me ready for revival. And although I’m a comfort food girl at heart, I’m a veggie lover, too, and I spend my whole year finding ways to save on, and enjoy, in-season goodness.


With change on the mind, I’ve already started planning what we’ll grow this year, which has inspired a change at the dinner table, too. If you’re a salad lover like me, try serving up these hearty options sometime soon. You’ll wake up those winter taste buds and leave them longing for what’s right around the corner. All recipes serve four adults for dinner.


 


Arugula, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad


4 beets, cleaned and stemmed


6 cups baby arugula


4 oz. Goat cheese


½ cup walnuts or pecans (candied, if you’ve got them!)


 


Dressing:


½ cup good olive oil


¼ cup balsamic vinegar


1 tblsp. Dijon mustard


1 tsp. agave nectar


Salt and pepper to taste


 


Wrap cleaned beets in foil and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until tender, approximately one hour. Wearing rubber gloves (to prevent stains on your hands), rub skin off slightly cooled beets and then slice. 


While the beets cook, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar; tighten lid and shake to emulsify and combine. Set aside.


Place arugula in large serving bowl. Top with crumbled goat cheese, nuts and sliced beets. 


Pour dressing over top until salad is lightly coated, tossing gently to combine. Beets should still be warm, causing cheese to soften and greens to wilt slightly. Delish!


 


Pear, Blue Cheese and Romaine Salad


6 cups cleaned and chopped romaine


3 Bosc pears, cleaned, cored and sliced in half, and then thin slices


4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled


½ cup pecans (candied, if you’ve got them!)


 


Dressing:


½ cup good olive oil


¼ cup champagne vinegar


1 tblsp. Dijon mustard


1 tsp. agave nectar


Salt and pepper to taste


 


For the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar; tighten lid and shake to emulsify and combine. Set aside.


Place romaine in large serving bowl. Top with crumbled blue cheese, nuts and sliced pears. 


Pour dressing over top until salad is lightly coated, tossing gently to combine. Enjoy!


 


Notes: To add a heartier feel to either salad, quickly chop up a skinned rotisserie chicken and add protein to either recipe. Serve with a warm baguette. 


These seasonal salads use my go-to recipe for dressing; you’ll notice only the acid (vinegar) changes. Swap out my choice for your favorite vinegar, or use lemon or orange juice, and fresh herbs like basil or parsley, for added freshness. 


Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and two labs. Join Molly on her family’s journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality in her columns or visit her website at www.mollylogananderson.com or on her blog at www.butterfliesandmudpies.blogspot.com.