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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13 comments:

  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.

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  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.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  3. That salad looks delicious!

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  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!!

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  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.

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  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!

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  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!

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

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  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}!

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  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!

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

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