Wednesday, April 15, 2015

a Spring-inspired salad . . . and a simple honey vinaigrette recipe

I made this vibrant Spring salad for our Annual Easter Family gathering a few weeks ago, and again for my husband's birthday dinner last weekend.

Like so many salads, it's light and fresh . . . and filled with Spring's best!

The base of this Spring-inspired salad is Butter Lettuce. Have you tried it before?

If not, then you should treat yourself. Butter lettuce has a slightly sweet, buttery flavor . . . and velvety soft and tender leaves. The leaves are cupped, which makes them great for holding salad toppings and dressing.

It costs a little more than most heads of lettuce do, approximately $2.25 per head, but well worth the price.

~ I'm so proud! . . . These pretty little heirlooms came from my garden! ~

I chose this leafy lettuce because of its flavor, texture, and gorgeous bright green color. It served as the perfect base for my variation of the perfect Spring salad . . . 

 fresh asparagus, shaved 
chopped walnuts
heirloom tomatoes
green apple, thinly sliced

There's so much that I love about it . . . the buttery and velvety lettuce, creamy eggs, bright and sweet tomatoes and asparagus, tart green apple slices, and the tender crunch of walnuts.

I dressed it up with an amazing Spring-inspired Champagne Pear Vinaigrette with Gorgonzola.

Did you notice the beautiful play on colors? The vibrant eggs? They look like sunshine on a platter!
Medium-boiled eggs are much prettier and creamier than hard-boiled eggs . . . a delicious addition.

And there's nothing like homegrown tomatoes. I love adding a variety of shapes and colors, as they can help build the character of a salad.

I plan on serving this salad as a dinner entree through Spring and Summer by bulking it up with sliced avocado and grilled chicken. YUM!

Did you notice the black specks?

It's black salt! 

I sprinkle it on top of all my creamy salads, like egg, macaroni, and potato salad . . . as well green salads . . . for a pop of color, as well as a finishing salt.  

A sprinkling of salt can make a great salad over-the-top amazing. 

Most people don't think to season their salads . . . and I don't understand why not?

A sprinkling of salt and pepper can really brighten and elevate the flavors. Give it a try next time!

I hope you're enjoying Spring's best with your favorite lettuce, too!

Oh, one more tip! Serve your salad on a platter! You can see its beauty much better spread out on a large platter than you can in a bowl.

Happy Spring, friends!

a perfect dressing for a butter lettuce salad
honey vinaigrette
.     .     .     .     .     .
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
.     .     .     .     .     .
In a small screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, shallot, honey, cinnamon and salt.
Cover and shake well.

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  1. That Trader Joe's dressing sounds delicious. I have pink salt that I use all the time, but haven't ever seen the black. How fun. And tomatoes already!?!? Seriously!? So jealous.

  2. I have got to get up to Trader Joes again. I love salads like this. I can never be accused of not seasoning. lol! I S&P everything. Just gives it so much more flavor. I love butter lettuce and have 9 butter crunch plants planted in my garden. It's my favorite lettuce! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  3. That salad looks delicious!

  4. Oh you are so right about the Butter Lettuce!! It just takes a salad to a different level and I sure wish I would have had your post before I went to TJ's today -- I would have bought some of the Champagne Vinaigrette Salad dressing. We went there specifically to get the South African smoke Seasoning Blend in a grinder. It is seasonal and won't be in until May but if you haven't tried it -- oh my gosh -- it is wonderful on meats you're going to grill. We buy it by the half dozen. I love the colors in your salad and the flavors sound so fresh and delicious -- and YOU'VE photographed them beautifully. Have a wonderful evening!!

  5. I love a good refreshing salad and this is right up my ally.

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  6. I am adding this to my meals this week! Garden tomatoes are the BEST! I'm proud of you too ;) I season my salads-sometimes- and it makes such a difference! I've never seen black salt, and its contrast looks so good. Pinning!

  7. Hi! Dropping by from Home and Garden blog party. The salad looks great! Thank you for the recipe for the honey vinaigrette. I will try that. Have a nice day!

  8. This salad is so pretty and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

  9. This is my kind of salad Suzanne!!! I don't think I've had butter lettuce for many years. I used to purchase it at the farmers market when I lived in Michigan. Now that I'm back... I hope to find some again this summer. Or maybe even grow it! ;) Thanks for sharing your gorgeous salad with us at Project Inspire{d}!

  10. Hi there! Visiting from Hit Me With Your Best Shot. This salad looks so yummy! It has all the things I love in a salad! Thanks so much for sharing the vinaigrette recipe!

  11. This looks beautiful and delicious! I'm pinning right now to make for dinner this week-YUM!

  12. so fresh! I love eggs in salad1

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