As I was sitting in the audience at Rock of Ages the big-hair 80’s musical, getting shot at with glitter confetti guns and rockin’ my head so hard I may need to visit the chiropractor today, I came away thinking I needed to add two more things to my daily life- more big hair metal downloads and more confetti.
I must confess, for a former vegetarian I’m not particularly fond of salad. It’s possible that part of my issue resolves from the fact that most salads are filled with an “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe to them. Don’t ask me why but my tastes trend toward simple salads with a handful of ingredients- Cesar, The Wedge, Arugula and Parmesan. Having been on the CSA for 9 months now I’ve become quite persnickty about my mixed greens and lettuces. If you are a salad person and are not growing your own lettuce and still haven’t joined a CSA you really don’t know what you are missing!
Here is a money-saving tip, make your own salad dressing. Seriously. It takes 5 seconds and tastes 100x better. With the average price of dressing around $3.50, I cannot think of a better waste of money. With that $3.50 you save you can download 3 songs from Poison or Bon Jovi and relive your youth. Trust me, it ain’t “Nothing But a Good Time”…
You really only need 3 main ingredients to make a good dressing and you likely have them on hand Olive oil, Dijon mustard and some type of vinegar -I like Apple Cider, Balsamic, White Balsamic and lemon juice (fresh squeezed). With those items stocked in your pantry, you can make several great dressings. I’ll save ranch and blue cheese for another blog.
I saved the Chard Stems from my Chard Fritters. As chard leaves and stems cook very differently it is usually best to separate them before cooking. Tonight, I decided to chop them up very small and sprinkle them in the salad, the same as you might do with celery. Because my CSA has Chard of all colors it added this beautiful confetti look. The crunch was perfect just like celery. Toss in some thinly slice some radishes and a handful of cashews and top with your homemade dressing.
This quick salad is perfect for a weeknight dinner or something fun enough for your inner-Rockstar.
Mixed Green Salad with Radishes, Cashews and Chard Confetti
6 oz mixed greens
1 small head butter lettuce
5 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 C. raw cashews
Chard stems, diced
For the Dressing-
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Whisk all ingredient together. The mustard helps to emulsify the dressing. You can make extra and it will hold in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I used lemon juice here instead of a vinegar because I was also serving the Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa and I thought the citrus in this dressing was a nice pairing. I think white balsamic would be nice too with this salad. I really like the olive oils and vinegars coming from Temecula Olive Oil Company.