|Ensalada mixta--a family-sized salad.|
Garden alert! The lettuce is bolting! Yikes! Make salad. Make two salads. Make more salads. Warm weather shoots the lettuce to flower, precipitating an onslaught of salad days.
The Spanish ensalada mixta, or mixed salad, is a big production, served as a starter for a family meal. This is a “table salad,” served on a big platter and meant to be shared amongst the diners round the table. In traditional style, everybody eats from the serving dish, rather than dish out individual servings.
|Tuna in olive oil.|
|Canned white asparagus.|
Someone at the table does the honors of dressing the salad—lots of extra virgin olive oil and a little white wine vinegar are drizzled over the salad. Salt. That’s it. No garlic and no herbs except for a hint of thyme and fennel in the home-cured olives. Unlike a Greek salad, no cheese. And, no, don’t toss the salad.
|Dress salad with olive oil and vinegar.|
As much as I enjoy the simplicity of ensalada mixta, for my lunchtime salads I am more likely to make a slightly more complex vinaigrette. Here’s a recipe I like with a mixed vegetable salad—sliced new potatoes, cooked beans, tomatoes and greens.
|Yogurt vinaigrette dressing.|
¼ cup no-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon wine or Sherry vinegar
minced garlic (optional)
chopped herbs (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Makes enough for a large salad or two smaller ones. Dressing keeps, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days.
|Oh, happy salad days!|