I am really into fruit in my salads. I know, I should be putting veggies in there, but I find that I eat more veggies at dinner, when I can marinate, steam and grill them. I have never really been a raw veggie fan, with the exception of carrots and celery.
The Green Vegetarian Balsamic picnic salad was AMAZING! Since I can't go there every day (I wish) I decided to copycat it at home, to get my fix. I went to Sunflower Market and bought bulk mixed green, fresh spinach and hearts of romaine. I also bought apples, strawberries, figs and pecans, which are used in Green's salad.
When my friend Allison refused to eat a fig from my salad and told me she'd tell me how they were made later that day, I was curious. I was so happy to have discovered figs, but soon after, my desire for them would wane. I would have NEVER, in a million years, thought that figs involve the death of something. Basically, figs are pollinated by fig wasps. A fig is an inverted flower. So, the fig wasps have to go inside the fig to pollinate it. The relationship is a unique one because it is the only source of food for the wasps. So, they enter the fig flower, they eat, pollinate and then DIE inside the figs. You aren't eating the wasps in "wasp form", but you are eating the protein source that once was a wasp. The wasps get broken down during the growth of a fig. Ew, huh?! I have a whole bag that I literally just opened, sitting in my pantry.....any takers?!
A wonderful, amazing replacement for figs in this salad is dates! I found some dried diced dates at Sunflower and just sprinkled a few on my salad.
I have to figure out how to make balsamic vinaigrette. It should be easy. I used some leftover from my Green salad, which is soooooo good.
Copycat Green Vegetarian Balsamic Picnic Salad (minus the figs)
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup spinach
1 cup romaine lettuce
4 large strawberries (thinly-sliced)
1/2 pink lady apple (thinly-sliced)
10 whole pecans
2 tbsp dried diced dated
Toss together and serve with balsamic vinaigrette.