As much as I enjoy playing in the kitchen, I like to balance “project recipes” (I’m looking at you, Paleo Chicken Bastila.) and dead-simple dishes that require almost no work with a big flavor payoff. This is my first in a series of Super Simple recipes that are made with minimal fuss, just a few ingredients, and produce leftovers that can be used in other dishes.
I know I have a justly deserved reputation as a spiceaholic, but thanks to my weekly basket from Farmhouse Delivery, I’ve learned that some things — like fresh-from-the-ground vegetables — can really shine when handled with a light touch. Last night, I poked my head in the fridge in search of ideas to make a side to serve alongside our Chocolate Chili (laden with spices… yay!), and I found the following beautiful green things:
- an enormous, frilly head of butter lettuce
- bulbous, vibrantly green spring onions
- dark green, flat-leaf parsley
The resulting salad combined simple ingredients, but the flavors were complex, thanks to the earthiness of the organic vegetables. With a light dressing of lemon, vinegar, and very good olive oil, I could still taste the dirt and sweet sunshine that helped these veggies fulfill their destiny.
To make this salad, be sure to use produce that is organically grown — so there are no pesticides and the true flavors come through. You want the taste of lettuce, not lettuce-flavored leaves, if you know what I mean — and locally-grown — so it’s as fresh from the ground as possible. You do not want lettuce that has traveled across time zones for this.
Super Simple Spring Salad
Serves 2 | Prep 10 min.
1 large head butter lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 large spring onions (or 4 scallions), white & dark green, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place the lettuce, onions, and parsley in a very large mixing bowl.
2. Drizzle with lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Toss gently for about two minutes — don’t skimp on the toss. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss for another minute or so, and taste. Add more salt and pepper, as necessary, and dig in.
BEFORE YOU ASK: Yes, you can add tomatoes or cucumbers or peppers or any other vegetables that pop into your mind to this salad, but in my opinion, that will ruin it. It will become a standard tossed salad. It will not be the Super Simple Spring Salad that kinda blew my mind with its deliciousness last night. The beauty of this recipe is the pure, unadulterated lettuce+onion+parsley combo. The parsley and onion have a little bite that’s a lovely balance against the sweet lettuce. Modify if you must, but maybe try it once this way first. For me. And you. And the lettuce.
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