Monday, June 16, 2008

Spinach Blackberry Salad

This super easy salad is bursting with contrasting flavors. It was made with the grill in mind to stand up on its own next to marinades, sauces and smokey grilled flavors. The inspiration came from the locally grown produce I found at the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, which is located in the Ace Hardware parking lot every Thursday from May through November.

Spinach Blackberry Salad

3 bunches of baby spinach
2 heads of young redleaf lettuce
2-3 heads of young romain
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sliced young Asian turnips (they become more peppery with age)
2 cups of blackberries

With a slotted spoon, scoop the marinated onions out of the Spring Onion Balsamic Vinaigrette and add to the salad mixture.
Season with black pepper and salt and toss.
Top with crumbled smoked ricotta salada cheese and enjoy!

Note: Why scoop out the onions?
By marinating them in the vinaigrette the sweet spring onions become even mellower and absorb the tang and sweetness of the vinaigrette. Also by scooping them out and adding them to the salad, you can *lightly* dress the salad (important for a low fat option) which will allow you to really appreciate the impressive flavors of organic, locally grown produce without drowning it in dressing. Whenever you have gorgeous ingredients like these, you definitely don't want to smother them in intensely flavored vinaigrette, which could easily happen if you pour the vinaigrette over these young greens. In minutes, they'd wilt and loose a lot of their appeal.

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