Simple salads. What’s not to love?
Fresh. Tasty. Seasonal. Colorful. Textured. I love them all. Especially in summer when the options are limitless.
Do you grow your own lettuce? Even if you only have the space for a container you should really try! It grows easily and quickly. You can harvest continuously if you sow new seeds regularly. They don’t need any maintenance. They come in so many nifty varieties to liven up your bowl with all colors & shapes. Plus, there is just something extremely gratifying about harvest even a portion of your meal.
It is also very inexpensive. For about $3.00 you can get the seeds to keep you in gourmet lettuce for multiple seasons! While I know that growing many things is out of reach for a lot of people, lettuce is possible if you have space for a container! Stoop, balcony, patio, deck, sidewalk… doesn’t matter. If you water it, it will grow and you will eat.
But I’m not here to force you to grow lettuce (or spinach for that matter). I’m here to share a salad with you.
- ½ cup mild flavored oil (canola/vegetable etc.)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼-½ cup white sugar (to taste)
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 2 TBSP sesame seeds
- 1 TBSP poppy seeds
- few dashes of either cayenne pepper or tabasco (optional, but I like it)
- spinach (or lettuce)
- sliced strawberries
- toasted pine nuts
- goat or feta cheese
Put in a glass jar and shake, shake, shake till the sugar dissolves and dressing is well mixed. It tastes best if you let it sit for an hour or so, but I usually don’t think of it ahead of time. It makes a lot and will last in the fridge for a long while. No, I don’t know how long… but likely as long as it takes you to finish it.
- Tear your rinsed greens into bite size pieces
- Toss with dressing just to lightly coat. Best way? Wash your hands very well and get in there and toss with your fingers. No pesky pieces flying about that way and you’ll get a nice even coating. Better to start with less and add more than have a soppy mess on your hands. More is NOT better when it comes to dressing.
- Top with sliced strawberries, pine nuts and cheese.
- Our spinach bolted so I used lettuce this time. It works just fine, but I do prefer it with spinach so if you have a choice I’d go spinach.
- We also didn’t have pine nuts, so I used sunflower seeds. Again, good, but I prefer the pine nuts.
- The Ladyfriend doesn’t like goat cheese (boo!) so I use feta. I think either is just as tasty. Different, but equally good
And, isn’t that the awesome thing about salads? You can’t go wrong! Mix, match, make do… regardless, it all comes together.