We are such a salad family, even if there is a vegetable on the table, even if there are two, or even three vegetables as part of a meal, there is still always a salad in my house.
Here’s how we rank in order of Saladlove (which, if I ever become a performer, will possibly be my stage name. With all due appreciation to Questlove, who inspired my very cool possible new performing name).
#1 – Me, hardly ever having met a salad I didn’t like, and making salad one of my top 6 dessert island foods.
#2 – Jack, who as a teenager actually makes himself salads even when no one is home (by salad, I mean torn up romaine lettuce, with about a cup of balsamic vinegar, and feta and olives if I have not failed him with my lax fridge replenishment)
#3 – Gary: solid salad lover
#4 – Charlie. A bit sporadic, though always down with our classic house salad of chopped romaine hearts and a good, tart vinaigrette.
We are mostly a vinaigrette family, though I do love a creamy dressing from time to time and we love a Japanese gingery dressing (if you haven’t tried the Ranch Dressing or the Japanese Restaurant Dressing in the Mom 100, I have to suggest that you do). As to the vinaigrettes we make, we like a strong sauce, as my friend Pam would say. A bracing vinaigrette. If you prefer something gentler, just add a bit more olive oil, and possibly cut back a bit on shallot and garlic-type ingredients, and other items like Dijon mustard.
Vinaigrettes are infinitely adaptable, and you can’t screw them up, because you can always add more of something to get to the flavor and balance you like. No rules. Zero rules.
I play around with vinaigrettes all the time, but I also know that sometimes you want to repeat something that you (and definitely your kids) really liked. And I also know that some people really just want a recipe, not dreamy, chatty, unfocused writing about how easy and flexible vinaigrettes are. I thank you for sticking with me. And now I will reward you with 3 Great (and really Simple) Green Salads, complete with 3 Vinaigrette Recipes.
(But I still have to say, play around with the proportions as you like, mix and match the greens, and also mention that all of these dressing would make lovely marinades, or be nice drizzle over some simply cooked vegetables. Sorry, I just can’t help it. And, now, the recipes).
3 Great and Really Simple Green Salads
Arugula and Kale with Scallion Mustard Vinaigrette
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups baby kale
- 1 romaine heart torn into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup minced scallions
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Butter Lettuce Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- In a large bowl toss together the arugula and kale. In a small container or bowl combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, scallions, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir or shake to blend well. Drizzle the dressing over the greens to toss to coat well.
- Place the butter lettuce in a large bowl. In a small container or bowl, combine the rice vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, mustard and salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the lettuce and toss to combine.
- Slice the romaine crosswise into thin strip and place in a large bowl. Add the arugula. In a small container combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
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