Did you ever have one of those days when you just needed a salad? Maybe you've over indulged a bit (eating a plate of mac and cheese with a full day's worth of fat and calories comes to mind for me). Or perhaps it's a warm day and you just don't want to heat up your kitchen.
Today was a salad day; one for lunch and one for dinner. I made one salad with a bit of supermarket purchased rotisserie chicken on the side and made one without.One of the many reasons I love making salads, particularly for dinner is that I can adjust them to meet the whole family's needs. The kids, never interested in having just a salad as a meal, can have them on the side. My H and I can choose to just eat the salad or nibble on whatever else the kids are having. With the many bagged varieties available in supermarkets today, salads can be a quick, healthful meal for everyone before rushing out to dance, karate, baseball or whatever.
Super salad tips for families on the go:
Cut vegetables in the morning and store them in zippertop plastic bags with a damp paper towel then salads will be ready to assemble at a moments notice.
On nights when everyone can't eat together, make the salads in individual plastic containers with dressing in small baggies, so everyone can grab one and go.
For lunchbox salads, stuff salad mix into a pita with a bit of shredded cheese and the dressing in a small zipper top plastic bag-no fork needed!
Green Bean Mesclun Salad with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 plus 1 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 cups halved, trimmed green beans
8 cups mesclun greens
1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 thick slices
1 cup diced tomatoes
In a small food processor or blender combine the vinegar, syrup, olive oil, water, shallot, cayenne pepper, salt and 1 tablespoon of the walnuts; process until smooth.
Divide the green beans and the mesclun greens between four salad plates. Scatter the cucumbers and diced tomatoes on top. Drizzle each salad with the dressing and scatter with the remaining walnuts.
Yield: 4 salads