Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I absolutely love vegetables. When I have a fridge full of fresh choices, I know I can make a hundred different dinners bursting with healthy flavors. I often hide veggies in the food I cook (don't tell Kevin!) so that they add nutrients without making it feel like I'm just eating vegetables. I hide spinach in spaghetti sauce, fresh chopped tomatoes in pizza sauce, mushrooms and onions in enchiladas and peppers in turkey burgers. Sometimes, though, I want to let my favorite veggies shine in a big, beautiful salad. I toss it in an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette and serve hot crusty garlic bread on the side. This is also a beautiful bed on which to add shrimp, chicken or steak. Summertime is when veggies shine! Enjoy!

Summer Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
A fresh and flavorful feel-good dinner!
Makes 1 large salad or 2 side salads

3 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Sprinkle kosher salt and fresh pepper

Add the salad greens to a large mixing bowl. In a small dish whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon and honey. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Drizzle half the dressing into the greens and toss repeatedly with tongs to coat. Add more dressing as needed- not too much! Pour the greens onto a large plate and top with the tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese and basil. Drizzle with more dressing if desired.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

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