So simple, so fresh and so welcoming to any additions you want to bring in like cold poultry, or nuts or fresh herbs. This is the great introduction to cooking with your hands. Tearing greens and tossing salads with your hands tells you if there's not enough oil (the leaves are dry feeling when they should have the slightest suggestion of slick) or there's too much fruit. Summer greens are all over the place in tastes, from tart to almost sweet, from crunchy to melting. You want them all in this salad, whatever you can find will make it all the better. And have the fruit underipe so it's almost crisp.
1 medium red onion, cut into thin rounds
4 cups ice water
about 8 cups of salad greens, ideally composed of small amounts of salad greens, the more varied the best (like bibb, oak leaf, leaf, mizuni, watercress, romaine, baby chard, kale and mustard, any of the escaroles, frisees or endives).
2 medium nearly ripe nectarines or peaches, sliced into thin wedges (sprinkle with a little lemon juice to keep from discoloring)
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, basil, mint, or coriander)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons robust and peppery extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons good tasting wine or cider vinegar
1. Combine onion and ice water and refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. Wash and thoroughly dry greens. With your hands tear into bite-size pieces. Turn into a big salad bowl.
3. Just before serving, drain onions and pat dry. Sprinkle the greens with salt, pepper, herbs, fruit, and drained onions.
4. Don't dress the salad until you're ready to serve it. With your hands, gently toss the salad with enough oil to barely coat greens. Use about 2 tablespoons to start. Toss with vinegar to taste, starting with 2 tablespoons. Taste for balance as you, making sure vinegar is assertive, but not harsh. Once it's where you want it, serve it up.
Copyright 2009 Lynne Rossetto Kasper
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