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Dark leafy greens salad with sun-dried tomato balsamic vinaigrette

Use sun-dried tomatoes to add flavor to this dark leafy greens salad.

I couldn't help myself: I found one teeny, pretty, ripe tomato at the market, and I had to have it. The tomato, beautiful and flavorful as it was, didn't quite fulfill my craving for tomato flavor in this salad, so I decided to bump up the vinaigrette dressing with rich sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of garlic. If I'd had any of my own slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer (as I hope you do), I would have added those instead.

At this time of year, my refrigerator always harbors a collection of dark leafy greens. There's nothing better than tossing a few together in a mixing bowl with a sturdy sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Add a few things for texture and crunch; I used cucumbers and cashews here, and if I'd had any chickpeas on hand, I would have thrown in a few of those, too.

Sun-dried tomato dressing adds summer flavor to this winter salad.

Dark leafy greens salad with sun-dried tomato balsamic vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: balsamic vinaigrette, agave nectar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews, chickpeas (optional).

Serves 2-4; can be multiplied.


For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mild agave nectar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil (not fruity)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, or your own slow-roasted tomatoes

For the salad:
2 cups mixed greens (kale, spinach, shredded Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.)
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 bell pepper (any color), diced
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, or drained canned chickpeas, or both


In a blender, combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette, and purée until thick and smooth. If you want a thinner dressing, add a teaspoon of water, and blend again. Set aside, or refrigerate until you're ready to serve. (You'll have extra dressing.)

Add all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. 

Pour on just as much of the dressing as you need to moisten the salad without drowning it. Toss well to combine.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More dark leafy green salads:
Double broccoli salad with almonds and Sriracha yogurt dressing, from The Perfect Pantry
Spinach salad with glazed beets and blue cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Collard green salad, from Naturally Ella
White bean kale salad with tahini dressing, from Minimalist Baker

A dark leafy greens salad perfect for winter. Use sun-dried tomatoes to bump up the flavorful dressing.

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Craving for salad is directly related to cabin fever (even when you've left your cabin), longer days, and strange weather patterns that see a snowplow in my driveway with temperatures up to 50+ that afternoon. Thank goodness for avocados!

This looks delicious! I love finding ways to incorporate dark leafy greens into my cooking, and just pinned your post to my dark leafy greens group board. :)

Susan, I agree 100%. Salad makes us feel like summer, and tomatoes even more so!

Bradleigh, thanks.

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