A Trio of Simple Spring Savories / by Kelly Allison

Soon after we decided to chat about transition at our spring salon, Julie had the brilliant idea to create ombre food to enhance the idea of change. I was excited with the challenge of creating ombre savories, especially after spending time perusing @WrightKitchen's #foodgradients tag on Instagram. And with available produce beginning to become more prevalent, the ombre options presented themselves to me!

Wanting to celebrate nature's ombre & make your own rainbows of deliciousness? Here are three fast & simple recipe ideas that are sure to wow your eyes & your palate.

BLUES & GREENS QUINOA SALAD

An easy salad that can be topped in any number of ways. This is a staple in my refrigerator at home, with each batch presenting a different array of flavors. Feel fee to experiment with your inclusions! 

Ingredients:

1c red quinoa

1/2 c lemon juice

1/4 c olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T honey

s+p

1/2 c scallions, cut on a  bias

green tomato, sliced thin

toasted pepiats

blueberries

purple endive

(any variety of vegetables & fruit will work well!)

Rinse quinoa in a sieve & drain well. Place in a small pot with 1 1/2 c water & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover & cook for 15 minutes, or until fluffy. Let cool to room temperature.

While quinoa cooks, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, & minced garlic in a jam jar or other air-tight container. Tighten lid & shake vigorously to emulsify oil. Add honey & salt/pepper to taste. Shake again to incorporate honey. Adjust seasoning & sweetness to taste.

Cut scallions to about a 1/4" bias & add to cooled quinoa. Toss will with dressing. Place quinoa in the bottom of a shallow bowl & arrange desired vegetables atop the seasoned quinoa. Toss well before serving.

MINI CAPRESE STACKS WITH ARUGULA

Caprese is an easy favorite, and mini heirloom tomatoes make this go-to classic even more gorgeous.

Ingredients:

5 oz baby arugula, washed & dried

16 oz mini heirloom tomatoes

olive oil

1c balsamic vinegar

8 oz whole milk fresh ciliegine (small) mozzarella

handful basil leaves

To make a balsamic reduction place in a small saucepan over medium high heat & bring to a boil. Be sure to watch carefully! Burned balsamic is not fun . . . not that I'd know :).Reduce heat & simmer until mixture has been reduced by 1/2 (10 - 15 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Arrange arugula on a platter, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Stack tomatoes & mozzarella on bamboo skewers & set atop arugula.Drizzle skewers with balsamic reduction, sprinkle with julienned basil & serve.

ROASTED VEGETABLES + RED LENTIL HUMMUS

Roasted vegetables are amazing in any season. Extremely versatile, this recipe can be adapted based on what is growing, or what spices & herbs you have on hand.Red lentils add a velvety texture & subtle sweetness to traditional hummus. For added color, we paired our roasted veggies with pickled veggies for this season's salon--that recipe coming soon!!

Ingredients: Variety of roasting vegetables (root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, nightshades, etc.) washed, trimmed, and cut to similar sizes.

Olive oil

Sea salt + fresh cracked peppercorn

1c Red lentils

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c tahini

juice from 2 lemons

s + p

For the vegetables:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss vegetables in olive oil & arrange in one layer on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast for 35 - 40 minutes until crisp on the outside & tender on the inside. Shake pan occasionally to make sure vegetables brown evenly.If roasting multiple varieties, test each for doneness & remove from pan when done.

For the hummus: Cook lentils according to package & cool to room temperature. Place lentils, tahini & minced garlic into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all is well incorporated.With motor running add lemon juice in a steady stream & mix until smooth. Adjust lemon juice & tahini to flavor preference and season with salt & pepper to taste.Can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 2 days.