Not only is Cristina Ferrare's salad from her cookbook Food for Thought aesthetically pleasing, but it also contains health-boosting foods that look just like the organs they benefit. The walnuts, sporting wrinkles and folds that resemble those of a human brain, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve memory and overall cognitive function. When sliced open, the tomatoes have chambers that look just like the structure of the heart, and they also contain lycopene that can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Topped off with her zesty Asian citrus vinaigrette, this salad is sure to replenish and revitalize your entire body.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
12 whole toasted walnuts
2 cups organic baby arugula
2 cups baby spinach, well washed
1 heirloom tomato, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thin
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4-inch thick pieces
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red grapes, sliced in half
2 fresh figs, each sliced open lengthwise, optional
cracked black pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds
6 mint leaves
Asian citrus vinaigrette
For the sweet potato:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the sweet potato and use your hands to coat the cubes. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Roast 20 to 30 minutes until the cubes are tender and have started to caramelize on the sides.
For the toasted walnuts:
1. Place walnuts in a cold, dry frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Shake the pan back and forth every few moments until they start to release their oil and turn slightly brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
For the salad:
1. Divide the arugula and spinach between two plates.
2. Add 3 to 4 tomato slices on each plate.
3. Alternate 3 slices each of grapefruit and avocado on top of the greens.
4. Scatter the sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, walnuts, grapes, and a fig (if you're using figs).
5. Sprinkle kosher salt, cracked pepper, sesame seeds, and mint leaves over top of salad.
6. For each serving, drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Asian citrus vinaigrette over the top of the salad. Serve.
**Note: Calorie count does not include the 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing.
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