Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'll Have A Salad, Please

By Patricia

Do you love eating salads?  I do, especially in the summer months when so many different varieties of lettuce are available.
I love tossing some baby spinach and fresh mushrooms into my bowl of greens and calling it lunch. Or adding a grilled chicken breast and having that for a yummy dinner. I love easy, and this is about as easy as it gets in the summer time.
I love strolling through Farmer's Markets, weather it's Pike Place Market in Seattle, or a smaller neighborhood market. It's the best place in town to get fresh salad greens.

"In The Green Kitchen" is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I have loved Alice Waters for years for her philosophy of using the freshest ingredients available, and cooking them in the simplest way possible.

Here is her recipe for a delicious and easy vinaigrette that will tickle your taste buds, and perk up any kind of salad you dress it with.
                                                                  Garlic Vinaigrette

                                                          1 small garlic clove
                                                          2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
                                                          3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil
                                                          Fresh-ground black pepper

Put a peeled garlic clove and 2 big pinches of salt in a mortar and pound into a puree, with no chunks remaining. Add the wine vinegar, grind in some black pepper, and taste for the balance of salt and vinegar.
    Allow to macerate for a few minutes, and whisk in olive oil. Taste again and adjust the salt, vinegar, or oil as needed. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice added to the dressed salad at the last moment can add a brightness that brings up all the flavors.
This is so easy and delicious, and it really has become my go-to salad dressing.

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