A Simple Salad for Spring
Friday, March 25th, 2011
It’s spring and even as I delight in the pastel flowers and locally-grown fruits at the market, I am reminded of our family’s road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. More than one of the friends whom we stopped to visit offered us fruit from their own trees. The direct warmth of the sun still clung to the skin of the plums and figs and oranges that I sank my teeth into. And to think, a minute ago they were still gently swaying on their own twigs. Now that’s as local as it gets. That is how life ought to be, so my friends in California tell me.
An old college friend of mine in the San Francisco Bay Area made us lunch at home. I went into the kitchen to help her cook and she assigned me the banal task of making a salad. I would have just as soon picked one up at Panera Bread and watched the kids slurp their Gogurt while we reminisced about our college days. After all, this particular friend had once burned a dish I asked her to warm-up for a party. So I was surprised when she looked over my shoulder to see how I was doing, and then doubly surprised when she said that I was “doing it all wrong.”
“Anu, you are suppose to cut the cherry tomatoes to get the juices out. You want to tear the romaine lettuce delicately and keep it a fork-size bite. Dice the cucumbers smaller and evenly–it will taste better.” What was she talking about? Whatever transformed my friend –kids I believe–I now have a phenomenal and simple salad recipe to share that relies on the freshness that only the sun can bring. So find a local farmers market close to you. For those of you in Northern Virginia and DC Metropolitan area check out Home Farm Store in Middleburg, Virginia.
1 head of fresh romaine lettuce or mixed greens of choice
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half length-wise
1/2 fresh avocado peeled and diced
1 English cucumber diced, optionally with the peel
1 red pepper julienned, then cut in half for 1-inch sticks
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves, optional
¼ cup or less of walnuts (my suggestion to boost the omega-3s in your diet)
2 tablespoons olive oil (Try Trader Joe’s Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil – it’s peppery and delicious)
1 freshly squeezed lime with seeds pitted
1 clove of fresh garlic, slivered into 8-10 paper-thin slices
Kosher sea salt to taste (a dash suggested)
Tear romaine lettuce into bit size pieces or put mixed greens of choice in bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, using the last four ingredients as dressing. Mix well and enjoy.
Anu’s Tip: Remember to roll the lime with the palm of the hand to let the juices flow before cutting and squeezing. When serving this salad to others I use a steel bowl in which I mix all the ingredients. Then I transfer this refreshing salad into my favorite bowl for a clean presentation and on many days I just serve from the steel bowl.
What Simple Delicious Salads Do You Make?Filed under Food & Recipes, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition & Health | One Comment