Colourful Late Spring Salad

June 13, 2017

A super pretty spring salad with rhubarb, vegan labneh, and rye croutons! The title for this recipe could easily stretch for miles - salad with roasted rhubarb, garlic rye sourdough croutons, vegan labneh balls, blueberries, lemon dressing, and so on. They're all important players in this major meal of a salad. You know it's good when you want to steal all the bits and pieces before they reach the salad (those croutons). Graham and I happily ate the whole bowl-full for lunch, and normally he only grudgingly eats salad. It is a bit of work to make all the different elements, but it's mostly a bit of chopping which you'd be doing for any other salad anyway. And you're going to want those croutons. We were both sneaking all the end bits of croutons right off the pan when I was trying to take pictures, they're so good.

I chose mâche lettuce (feldsalat in German) for this recipe mostly because it's my favourite type of salad green, but I also think it holds up well in the salad despite the delicate nature of the leaves. You should be able to find it at this time of year. Here in Germany and elsewhere in northwestern Europe, it's available through the winter and spring as a colder-weather green. Mâche has three times as much vitamin C as regular lettuce, and it's higher in other nutrients as well. But really, this salad is all about the toppings. If you don't want to make and roll the labneh balls from scratch, you can use a soft goat cheese (if you eat cheese) or substitute dollops of your favourite thick yogurt. The creaminess they add takes everything over the top so I recommend taking the extra time to make them, and you'll have leftover labneh to use elsewhere. You can also use a gluten-free bread instead of rye if you're intolerant but all in all this is a pretty allergy friendly dish. I used this bread recipe (my go-to bread, but I sub 1/2 cup sourdough starter for the yeast now) but you can use a store-bought dark rye or other type of sourdough.

Salad should never be boring, and this is proof! Give me hearty, exciting salads every day of the week and I'm a happy camper. And, I mean, bread. In salad.

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Colourful Late Spring Salad
Serves 2-4, as a meal or side

Base Salad

125 grams (about 4 cups) mâche lettuce
1 cup cooked french lentils
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Place all of the ingredients into a large serving bowl, in the order listed. Top with the roasted rhubarb, croutons, and labneh, then finish with the lemon dressing. Serve immediately.

Honey Roasted Rhubarb

2 stalks rhubarb, sliced
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix to coat the rhubarb with honey, and then bake for about ten minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and beginning to caramelise.

Garlic Rye Croutons

2 thick slices (3 cm) rye sourdough, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bread onto the pan and then add the olive oil, garlic, and salt. Use your hands to work the oil into the bread, squeezing as you mix the ingredients. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

Labneh Balls

To make the labneh, follow this recipe (it will take at least a day to thicken). Take small spoonfuls from the finished product and gently roll them with your hands into balls. Make as many as you like for the salad, but I recommend between 10-15.

Honey Lemon Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon, about 1/4-1/3 cup
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a small jar and shake until fully combined. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week, but you shouldn't have leftovers.

4 comments on "Colourful Late Spring Salad "
  1. I'm also from Germany and I love mâche lettuce/Feldsalat! I've tried to grow it here in Tennessee but unfortunately it's too hot and too humid. Labneh is totally new to me. It sounds pretty good! I've googled how to prepare it. It's quite easy!
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I enjoyed reading it and will definitely try it.

    Ginger by Choice I Food & Lifestyle Blog

  2. I LOVE labneh but never thought to put it in a salad like this. Looks fantastic.

  3. Oh this is so my kind of salad! Yummy! I love salads full of surprising elements, flavours and crunchiness. I had no idea you could make vegan labneh balls! So interesting!

  4. What a pretty salad! I love the mix of colours, flavours and textures. Beautiful!