The salad I'm hooked on.

I love me a big mess of salad.

This salad that I am about to share with you has been easing me through these grainy-gray days with it's promise of summer.

I picked up these greens at my local Trader Joes and have been hooked since. What's that you say? You desire a plethora of greens and reds running through herbes in a European bath of flavors? Delivered. How about a promise that this Spring I will begin a series of salads studies to share with you? That rocks, right?

Organic Baby Lettuces from Trader Joes include red and green romaine, red and green oakleaf, lollo rosa tango, red and green chard, mizuna, aruguls, frisee, radicchio, parsley, cilantro and dill! It's amazing, inexpensive and a great shortcut.

Messa Salad
1 bag of Herbe Salad
4 discs sliced from a beautiful herbed goat cheese
handful of dried cherries
handful of fresh walnuts

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - about 3 Tbsp
Balsamic Vinegar - a good glug to taste
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Smidge of mustard - I love Surdyk's Herbes de Provence one, but a grainy or dijon would work nicely
Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Empty out your bag of greens into a large bowl
Slice your discs of goat cheese (you can crumble too if you like)
Toss in your handful of cherries followed by the walnuts

In a small bowl pour in a good splash of balsamic vinegar. Pour in your sugar. Grab a mini whisk (or fork) and pull out about a 1/2 teaspoon of mustard, add to the mix and start whisking. Pour in oil while mixing to create and emulsion. Salt and Pepper to taste. If it is too tart, add a bit more sugar, if there is not enough bite, add a bit more balsamic. This dressing is an easier and more affordable way to freshly dress your greens. Once you get the hang of it you can tweak the ingredients by adding other elements to intensify your haystack of green goodness.

Dig in and get messy. I promise it will be worth it.

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© 2007 All writing and photography is owned by Lollya.