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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Spin on Salads

Fortunately, I found out just in the lick...oops...nick of time. Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day. No worries if you missed has to be "yesterday" somewhere, right? You might question that as a nutritionist, why am I touting ice cream? Well, here is my has gotten much too scientific, too "gram-y", too analzyed. Where is the fun? Ice cream is joyful...comes in dairy and non-dairy versions. A smile in every scoop. I am going for the grin!

Jeni's Ice Cream

Again, I hit the free class yesterday at Williams-Sonoma and met some pals there. I first started going to these classes with my mom and I admit, I am hooked. This one was on salads...starting from selecting the greens to washing and drying them to assembling and dressing them into a magnificant fresh salad. I loved the focus of this class...on the greens. It's all about the greens. Think of the dressing as the "bow" on a beautiful package. That alone moved my salad thoughts ahead light years. I have always thought most about what goes with the greens...the little accessories...the stars of the show.  Or, so I thought. So yesterday. And, the dressing...put lots of thought into that as well. This class encouraged me to rethink the basics...deconstruct and start my salad and dressing thoughts again with a more "today" approach.

One of the other really fun benefits of this class was being able to taste a variety of olive oils from grassy Italian ones to buttery Spanish ones and several balsamic vinegars...the real syrup-y, beautifully aged, Modena balsamics. Oh my, ambrosia. Drank my lunch. Yum.

Here is one of the recipes...plucked right off their handout. Picture is from their website. It is a lovely salad...fresh and soooo falvorful. Almost as smile-y as that scoop of ice cream!

Green Herb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 large head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chives, cut into 2 inch lengths

In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine olive oil and shallot. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well with a fork or whisk. Top with lettuce, parsley, cilantro and chives. When ready to serve, toss gently but well. Mound the salad in individual bowls or on plates. Garnish with a chive blossom, if available, and sprinkle salad with a little Maytag, Stilton or Gorgonzola cheese if you want a richer salad. This salad can stand up to 30 minutes before serving.

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