This fresh, colorful, veggie-loaded Mixed Greens Salad with Steam Fried Veggies and Lemon Basil Vinaigrette is simple-to-make, loaded with flavor and perfect for holiday entertaining!
Disclosure: This post and recipe were created in collaboration with Dole Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables. As always, all opinions, ideas and text are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.
This recipe is not be far off from the usual fare you will find around here, but the inspiration that got me here might be.
Let’s take a big big step back, come along with me. We are going all the way back to 1928. Disney’s Mickey Mouse made first on-screen debut in Steamboat Willie, a seven-and-a-half-minute animated short film that would become a classic, as it introduced to the world, one of the most iconic characters of our time!
Another American classic, we all know and love, Dole, is collaborating once again with Disney to celebrate Mickey’s 90th Anniversary, highlighting fresh takes on iconic recipes and bringing brand new inspired dishes honoring a True Original and the two brand’s long-time friendship.
To know me and my husband is to know that Disneyland and Mickey Mouse have become a part of our own story. When we moved to Southern California nearly years ago, before the moving truck ever hit the road, before we even had the keys to our new home, we had our Disneyland annual passes in our hands. On our trip out to California to find our house, we committed that once we found where we would be living, assuming we had a few days left in the trip, we would be “Going to Disneyland”.
Over the years since we have lived here, we have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries at Disneyland, we have taken nieces, nephews, parents and friends. We even created original artwork for Disneyland in collaboration with their WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney, where we silkscreen printed the posters live, in front of the gallery.
Disneyland and Mickey Mouse are synonymous with our Southern California life, so of course I was excited to be a part of DOLE’s celebration of Mickey Mouse. Dole and Disney have a rich history of working together toward happier, healthier families, and encouraging kids of all ages to eat better and be more active, so this celebration of Mickey’s 90th has come together in a big and tasty way and I am honored to be a part of it.
For me, I wanted to stay true to the food I always create and share with all of you, so no Mickey Mouse cupcakes or decadent Disneyland treats, I wanted to find a subtle a way to pay homage to ‘ol Steamboat Willie and his humble beginnings and really highlighting Dole’s beautiful fresh produce. In fact right know you can actually find DOLE® fresh fruits and vegetables featuring Mickey Mouse throughout the decades. How fun is that? Around here I have been referring to this as the Steamboat Willie Salad and it features one of my favorite ways to prepare fresh vegetables – Steam Frying. Rather than the simple steamed veggies prevalent in the 1920 and 30’s – we are taking steam cooking up a notch.
You all know that I am not anti-fat by any means, I think healthful fats play a very important role in a healthy, well balanced diet, so this isn’t about reducing fats and oils at all, steam frying is merely a simple, easy and flavorful way to prepare fresh vegetables. It takes the classic steamed vegetables up a notch in a fun and flavorful way. What I especially love is you can prepare the veggies ahead of time and serve them on the finished salad cold or room temperature, if you’d like, which makes this salad perfect for your holiday entertaining. No taking up space in the oven for roasting, no messy oil-splattering as you pan fry and no mushy, boring steamed veggies. Ready in no time, a beautiful, center-piece salad, loaded with nutrient-dense, colorful veggies – truly the best of all worlds.
How-to Steam Fry Vegetables:
Steam frying is often used in Chinese cooking and it combines both frying and steaming. With just enough frying, you get a nice golden touch on the veggies, though most of the cooking is done by steam. Steam frying is best done in a non-stick frying pan. I personally like a non-PFOA, non-teflon coated, ceramic coated non-stick pan for this method of cooking. If you use a stainless or cast iron pan, you may need just a bit more oil.
You start by heating a small amount of oil, usually just a couple tablespoons. When the oil is hot, you add the vegetables you are steam-frying, and sauté for a few minutes, when they start to sizzle and get a little golden, you then add just a little liquid, not too much, you aren’t looking to create a stew or soup. Cover the pan and give the vegetables time to steam. That’s it.
The great thing about this Steamboat Willie inspired salad is that it can evolve with you, depending on the season, so change up the DOLE® vegetables and make it work for summer, winter, spring or fall!
And if you don’t wanna steam fry, go with classic roasted vegetables, you can’t ever go wrong, there!
Click here for More Disney Mickey Mouse-inspired recipes from DOLE
Here are a few of my favorite recipes from the collection:
- 1 small garlic clove or 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 2 cups packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, avocado oil or ghee
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ head of DOLE® cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ lb DOLE® brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 4-6 DOLE® carrots, sliced ¼-inch thick
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water, stock or wine
- (depending on the season and what you have access to, could also steam fry broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, asparagus, fennel or onion)
- 6 cups DOLE® organic salad greens, of your choice
- Steam fried veggies
- Lemon basil vinaigrette
- Optional for serving: fresh herbs, radishes, nuts, cheese or other toppings
- Add all of the ingredients to your high-speed blender. Blend until super smooth, about 1 minute.
- Adjust salt and pepper, as needed. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat the oil or ghee. Add 2 gloves of finely minced garlic. Cook the garlic quickly until fragrant, taking care not burn the garlic.
- Add the vegetables in a single layer, as best you can. Do not overcrowd the pan, cook in batches if you are using a smaller skillet. Sprinkle the salt evenly over top.
- Stir-fry the vegetables until they have some golden-brown spots, just about 5 minutes.
- Add the water (or other liquid) and cover the skillet. Allow the vegetables to steam, just until tender. This should take about 3-4 minutes. If the liquid all evaporates before the vegetables are cooked, remove the lid, add a little bit more liquid, cover again, and continue steaming.
- Uncover the pan and use a knife or fork, spear a couple of the vegetables and see if they're tender or still pretty crunchy. Once tender, remove the lid, cook the vegetables, uncovered, to let any remaining liquid evaporate from the pan and allow them to turn a bit more golden, just another minute or so. If not done, add another tablespoon or two of liquid if needed, cover, and steam a bit longer.
- When the vegetables are tender, transfer them to a serving dish.
- Serve the greens on a large serving platter, spoon the steam-fried vegetables on top. Drizzle with the lemon basil vinaigrette. Serve immediately. I find this salad is most delicious when the vegetables are still warm, but it is still tasty when they are cold or room temperature.