Don’t you just hate it when so much is happening that it feels like you can never get caught up? Such is where I am today and have been for the past couple of weeks. So yes, I know it has been over two weeks since the Dinner for Ten, but I have to tell you about my all green salad which was the perfect accompaniment to the rich and cheesy lasagna.
It is a simple salad with flat leaf parsley as the star of the show. I get so excited when I can make a salad where lettuce takes a back seat. Coming from the Midwest, my family thought the base ingredient for salad should be lettuce. Specifically, iceberg lettuce that is in my mind, so flavorless. I am so glad that I have been introduced to wonderful, healthy greens that pack in the flavor. While kale is the current “salad green du jour,” it can be super tough and requires thoughtful preparation to do it right. Arugula, I l.o.v.e. – love, but I know that many palates can find it grassy tasting and off-putting. Cilantro is similar, but the off-putting taste is of dish soap. So for this green salad, I chose Italian parsley aka flat-leaf parsley. And for the record, this is a variation on the salad served with the Peruvian Chicken recipe that I posted last May.
Conventional wisdom says that when you want to add a mild flavor to a dish use Italian parsley. But when you want to add a garnish or a more astringent parsley flavor, you should use Curly parsley.
All Green Salad
with a Lime Vinaigrette and a Blood Orange Garnish
I love that all of the veggies in this salad are green. It is the perfect color balance to the lasagna. Some folks call any salad a green salad as long as the base ingredient is green. But this all green salad is simple, fresh, a tag creamy but also cleansing. With the flavor of the parsley and the acid in the lime juice (also green), this one is performing the way a salad should.
2-3 bunches Italian (Flat-Leaf) Parsley, thick and tough stems removed, then roughly chopped*
1 Small Romaine Lettuce Heart, chopped
1 Seedless Cucumber quartered lengthwise, then chopped
2 Ripe Avocados, chopped (wait until just be serving time to keep bright green)
1 Blood Orange, peeled, segmented then cut into halves
1/4 cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (or your desired level)
water if needed
Agave nectar or Honey (optional)
Note about the parsley: This is your main ingredient, so you want to have two (2) parts parsley to one (1) part romaine heart. Think of the romaine as the “fluffer” for the salad providing structure to the tender parsley leaves.
Make your vinaigrette up to a day in advance. I use an old jelly jar. Pour in your lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Put the lid on the jar and shake it like nobody is watching until emulsified. Taste and adjust to your liking. If you prefer a light touch of sweetness in your vinaigrette, add a little squeeze of agave nectar or honey. If you prefer a less acidic vinaigrette, dilute with water, a tablespoon at a time to your liking. Set aside. Do not dress the salad until just before you serve.
Place all your chopped green vegetables (except the avocado in your salad bowl. Toss. Set aside in the refrigerator until just before serving time. Add your newly chopped avocado. Remove the vinaigrette from the fridge and shake it again to re-emulsify. Drizzle the vinaigrette on your salad then toss to coat. Note: You will have more vinaigrette than you need. Use what you need to lightly dress the salad and save the remaining for another day. Garnish the salad with the blood orange wedges and serve.
Download the recipe here: All Green Salad
There are many ways to keep avocados from browning.
This LINK offers some useful information especially if you include the additional comment. This piece is not written by an “expert,” but it is all information that I have tried before. If you are unsure of the safety of these techniques, please consult with a food scientist. (yes this is a disclaimer).
That is all for now.