Monday, May 19, 2008

Fresh from the Farm Mixed Greens Salad with Lemon Dressing

If you have never had fresh picked/cut lettuce you really must. It's an experience. The flavors of the leaves just burst with each bite. The flavors, sharp and intense are strong, perhaps because they have not had time to sit and mellow. If you do not live near a farm try to get to a farmer's market. I assure you the freshest salad ever!

I served this salad yesterday for lunch with my folks in town. I made a light dressing (recipe to follow) and served it with thinly sliced Manchega, and whole Campari* tomatoes on the side. There was, too, of course, French Bread from Billy's Bakery -- the best in the state! As we sat outside and lunched I felt transported away, as though I was not an hour outside of hustly-bustly New York City but deep in the woods of Maine. (We have lots of evergreen on our property.)

For the salad feel free to use any freshly picked variety to your liking. I love to mix different lettuces together. I usually one large handful as an estimate per person. When we are serving salad as a meal I will double or even triple the amount.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

1/2 Cup equal parts Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 handful of cilantro, minced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
Sea salt and pepper

In a small bottle with a lid (like a vinegar bottle) combine all ingredients and infuse for a a few minutes or overnight. Shake bottle well so dressing emulsifies and resembles the color of fresh lemonade. Strain garlic (and cilantro leaves if desired) and taste. Add freshly ground Sea salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss.

Serve Immediately!

* I use local or home grown tomatoes when in season.

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