A Salad for Love

lovesalad.jpgReasons why you must absolutely make this salad for your honey on Valentine's Day (what you didn't learn in sex ed) and why you must not let your young teenagers have even a bite of this fruit and veggie mix, which is more of a love potion than an actual salad.  Whew, got all that?

So let's not beat around the bush here, Vitamin C-packed pineapple is said to help counter impotence, fennel  contains natural plant estrogen, and spicy radishes are reputed to have been the Egyptian pharaohs' stimulator of choice.  Wow. 

Moving on, the dressing makes the mixture even more alluring: ginger's warming qualities rev circulation.  And sesame seeds are rich in arginine, an amino acid needed to produce nitric oxide which expands blood vessels to enhance blood flow to the sex organs.

Are you running to the store yet?

Let us not forget that not only is salad a nice palate cleanser between courses, it can also freshen your breath.  Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants (and especially in fennel and watercress) is a natural deodorizer used in many breath mints.  Just remember when you go in for the big kiss, try to remove any of the black sesame seeds that may be lurking between your teeth. 

Pineapple-Fennel Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

1-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds

1 medium fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
1 cup diced avocado
3 cups arugula or watercress

It starts out a little scary looking but so does love sometimes.  Anyway, I like making my dressings in a mason jar and just shaking them up.  But if you don't have a mason jar, whisk together lemon juice, honey and ginger in a small bowl.  Whisk in oil, then sesame seeds.  Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare your salad ingredients.  I used a mandolin to thinly slice my radishes and fennel.  Toss fennel, pineapple, radishes and green onions with salad dressing in a large bowl.  Stir in avocado and arugula gently, season with salt and pepper.  Divide among four plates and serve immediately.



Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.