Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Freshest Salad


This bowl full of delicious, so-fresh-they're-nearly-still-alive greens was my first garden salad. As in, from our garden, greens grown with our very own hands. Last Friday, just after arriving back from Kelowna, and hours before leaving for Radium, I dropped by the garden (I can't walk by without stopping, no matter how little time I have or how much I'm carrying – I've tried) and picked a bunch of arugula and mixed greens. With them, I made my favourite salad of the moment: greens with chickpeas, feta, and a maple-balsamic-basil vinaigrette.

The chickpeas and balsamic dressing are inspired by the salad at Pagliacci's in Victoria which I love. Theirs has lettuce, chickpeas, tomato, carrots, red onion, and whole kalamata olives, and I always choose the balsamic vinaigrette to go with it. Although those other veggies are great with it (love grated carrots in a salad), I've become partial to this simplified version, with only the feta and chickpeas. Especially when the greens are as sublime as these were! Don't they look like they're nearly climbing out of the bowl with freshness? I could happily eat this every day.

If you want to join me in salad-heaven, here's what to do:

  • Wash and dry assorted greens.
  • Drain and rinse canned chickpeas.
  • Crumble feta.
  • To make dressing, whisk together equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a glug of maple syrup, a couple of tablespoons minced fresh basil, salt and pepper.
  • Combine greens, chickpeas, and feta, and toss with dressing until lightly coated.

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