Fresh herbs are a great way to jazz up the flavor and nutrition of almost every dish! A green salad is an easy way to see the power of fresh herbs at work and experience the enhancement they bring. In fact, many herbs actually have medicinal properties.
Dr. Rick Henriksen (from Kestrel Wellness) and I had the pleasure of discussing such benefits to a group of healthcare providers at a Food is Medicine event this summer.
This was the recipe we used to talk about parsley, basil and oregano, and how to build a better salad. This simple dish brought smiles and appreciation to everyone’s face.
- Can be used as a diuretic to help reduce blood pressure
- May help neutralize particular types of carcinogens
- Parsley is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid
- It even freshens your breath!
- Learn more at the World’s Healthiest Foods
- The oils in basil have anti-bacterial properties
- Basil has been shown to be protective in the health of our blood vessels
- It can act as an anti-inflammatory
- Positive effects on boosting the immune system
- Learn more from Dr. Axe
- Contains antioxidants that support the immune system
- May be useful for treating upper respiratory infections
- Shows strong anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
- Possible cancer-fighting benefits
- Learn more from Dr. Mercola
Thanks to the University of Utah’s College of Health’s Nutrition and Integrative Physiology Department, Frog Bench Farms (for all their efforts and the incredible setting), and Copper Moose Farm (for the produce we used to make and sample the salad and dressing). Everyone involved truly made the event come to life.
The coolest part is that much of this same experience can come to life right in your own home. In fact, it’s easy to grow your own herbs in small windowsill pots or in your own summer garden and be creative with flavors you and your family love.
We encourage you to adjust ingredients with the seasons and have fun building your own salads with fresh herbs. Enjoy this recipe!
- ~ 5 oz. Baby Romaine (or other mild leaf)
- ~ 1 oz. Arugula
- 8 small Radishes (or young turnips), trimmed and sliced or quartered
- 4 Green Onions, chopped
- 1 medium Carrot, grated
- ~ 1 cup rough chopped fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
- ~ ½ cup rough chopped fresh Basil
- Juice from 2 Oranges
- Zest and juice from 1 Lemon
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh Oregano
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
- Dash of black pepper
- Toss salad greens, radish, onions, carrot, parsley and basil in a large serving bowl.
- Whisk all dressing ingredients (orange juice through black pepper) in a medium bowl until well combined. You may also use a blender or immersion blender to emulsify the dressing. If using this technique, add the oregano after other ingredients have been combined and just pulse until gently mixed.
- Divide salad amongst 4 plates. Shake dressing and drizzle each salad with about 2 thumbs worth.
To make this a complete meal, add healthful fats and a quality source of protein.
– Fats: avocado, almond slices, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts
– Proteins: grilled or roasted chicken, steak, wild salmon, hard boiled or poached egg
You can store dressing in a pint sized mason jar, or glass dressing bottle in the refrigerator. Pull out in advanced to allow oil to come to room temperature.