a summer salad …

June 16, 2011

I love summer, not only for the nice weather, but also for the abundance of fresh produce available.  I love to eat fresh salads, and this salad encompasses many summer veggies.
For this particular salad, I basically threw in just about every vegetable I had in my fridge.   That is the beauty of a nice summer vegetable salad, there really are no limitations.
{Tips to make a nice summer salad}
1. Start with a nice bead of greens (whatever you prefer) – spinach, arugula, mixed lettuces, sprig mix.  If you want them extra crisp, run cold water over the greens, and spin them in your salad spinner just before serving.
2. Add diced vegetables of your choice-  cherry tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, corn, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, red onion, olives.  Like I said, the sky is the limit.
3. Add a sprinkle of cheese-  I added a mix of parmegano reggiano, and romano cheese.  Gruyere would also be good!
4.  Complete your salad with a nice vinaigrette.  My rule of thumb for putting together a fresh vinaigrette is to use 1/3 cup acid (vinegar, or lemon juice) to 2/3 cup oil of choice.  I always add a little sea salt, and fresh ground pepper with a bit of mustard and agave nectar.  My favorite part is that you can adjust your ingredients to your taste, and even throw in some herbs if you want!
Here is a great recipe that I used for my summer salad (pictured above)
{Fresh Vinagrette}
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tsp good quality dijon mustard
1/2 tsp coarse salt [like sea salt]
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp agave nectar
2/3 cup canola oil
Whisk together all of the ingredients except for oil.  slowly whisk in oil so the oil and vinegar will emulsify.
Enjoy!

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