Feb 27, 2009

salad days

i know i keep talking about how spring is going to show up any minute. and it is. well it has already shown up in my food preferences. i am wanting lighter food and fresher food and SALAD. i try to squeeze as many vegetables i can into family dinners these days. i am in love with vegetables, i really am. and i really agree with michael pollan that we should "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." an easy way to accomplish this is salad. 

the salad above is the one r and the kids are so in love with lately. they are quite used to my garden salad (avocado, cucumber, leek, cherry tomato etc) and my caesar salad. oh, and i never ever in a million years buy pre made salad dressing. i think it is unnatural. it takes 3 seconds to make your own, mixed just the way you like it, so fresh and lively. light. anyway. the salad above is based on one i happened to eat at sundance resort on a ski trip a few years back. only that one had some dried fruit in it as well. a few dried cherries would be great in here, now that i think about it, and maybe some pumpkin seeds. 

but i digress. the salad. it is a mixed baby lettuce salad (red oak, green oak, mache, baby romaine), with a tiny smidge of fresh dill, red cabbage, green apple and leek. the colors are fun dark purple and bright greens and every shade in between. the dressing is a riff on a simple french vinaigrette with a bit of dijon, and a fruity twist.

vinaigrette dressing with a fruity twist
1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
1 minced shallot
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
2 TBSP pomegranate cherry juice
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin and organic)

favorite salad late winter 2009
6 oz fresh lively organic baby greens
1 TBSP fresh dill
1 granny smith apple, slide extra thin
1/4 red cabbage, sliced thin and chopped
1 leek, sliced (slices rinsed to remove sand)
dried cherries (optional)
pumpkin seeds (optional)

to make a vinaigrette: start with the mustard and shallot in a small bowl. add the vinegars and whisk around lightly. then add the pom juice. maybe a little bit of salt or pepper if you are inclined to such things. and then last add the olive oil whisking like mad, but just for 30 seconds or so.

grab a giant salad bowl (your favorite one). add washed lettuces. tear up a bit of dill (only a little, don't want to overpower it). the red cabbage. the leeks. and last but never least the green apple slices. pour the dressing over and toss lightly. it is especially nice if you can pour the dressing slowly, ever so slowly, over the salad in a uniform way to avoid overdressing or drowning your salad greens. a common problem around here (as some of us love homemade salad dressing a little too much). anyway toss lightly. use only half the dressing at first and add in small increments.

i usually serve this salad with a bit of sausage and roasted potatoes plus some brussels sprouts, or maybe pork chops and wild rice and perhaps some green beans. munch munch. nom nom nom. i cook to eat...

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