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Jane’s Great Salad

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 2
Total Time 15 minutes


My friend Jane, who has been a vegetarian for most of her life, has a gift for making salads that are both delicious and filling. I’ve never seen Jane cook from a recipe, but the salads she makes share common elements: fresh greens and herbs from her garden, toasted nuts or seeds, tofu, or cheese. This is my approximation of one of her salads.


2 Tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds (with hulls)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig each of fresh tarragon and marjoram, destemmed and chopped
1 cup fresh (cut from the cob) or frozen (thawed and strained) corn
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 block smoked tofu, cubed
1 avocado, cut or spooned into chunks
1 head red-leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and ripped into bite-size pieces (or the equivalent amount of mixed greens: spinach, butter lettuce, etc.)
~ Extra-virgin olive oil
~ Balsamic vinegar
~ Parmesan cheese
~ Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they start to pop, then add the sesame seeds. (Shake or stir the seeds frequently; they will scorch if left unattended.) Once the sesame seeds have began to pop and turn a golden shade, remove the pan from the heat and turn out the seeds into a large salad bowl.
  2. To the salad bowl add the minced garlic, chopped herbs, corn, sliced green onions, cubed tofu, avocado, and lettuce. Drizzle salad with olive oil, just enough to coat the leaves when tossed, then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Toss and taste, adjusting the oil and vinegar, then grate several tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the salad. Toss and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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