Sometimes you just need a salad. After my birthday celebration this past weekend that lasted a day longer than we all anticipated, I need several salads. And several more after that. My problem is: I. just. don’t. like. salad. I do like salads at restaurants that have bad stuff, like crispy chicken, fatty dressing, tons of cheese and nary a vegetable anywhere. You know. The ones nutritionists and dietitians tell you in magazines that you should never order? Fortunately, the building where I work not only has a cafe with a large salad bar, but one floor up from that is another salad spot where you can have someone make one for you. Unfortunately, I hate those salads. I don’t know if it’s the dressing, the lack of options or what, but each time I get one of these salads, I’m miserable and disappointed. I have figured out though, I like salads I make myself, where I control the ingredients and only put in what I know I like. And I since I don’t really like bottled dressing, I like simple vinaigrettes where I can control the fat and the flavor. So after work last night, I stopped at the store and started filling my basket with both fruits and veggies that I knew would not only be tasty but would also take advantage of summer’s colorful (and local!) produce. Hence, the homemade Summer Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette.
A simple butter lettuce/red leaf lettuce combination is topped with Jersey plum tomatoes, baby carrots, avocado, red pepper, mango, and toasted almonds before being drizzled with a vinaigrette of white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. The almonds, carrots and red pepper give a yummy crunch while the avocado provides a creamy texture. And the mango…oh the mango. Some people don’t like fruit in their salads but I think nothing is better. The slightest bit of sweetness in the mango mixes so well with the other produce and gives this salad the perfect ending note. The vinaigrette is simple and light and especially good with a dash or two of garlic powder. Use any vinegar you like and as little or as much oil as you prefer. This salad didn’t leave me feeling unsatisfied or unhappy. It’s one salad I can definitely get behind!
Summer Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette (makes 2 servings)
- 4 cups salad greens (your preferred choice)
- 1 or 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup baby carrots, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 mango, chopped
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (or any preferred nut)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Combine extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if using) in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine. Divide lettuce between two plates, and top with even amounts of tomato, carrot, red pepper, avocado and mango. Top each plate with one tablespoon of toasted almonds. Drizzle each plate with dressing, using as little or as much as you like. Finish with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Combine extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if using) in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine.
Divide lettuce between two plates, and top with even amounts of tomato, carrot, red pepper, avocado and mango.
Top each plate with one tablespoon of toasted almonds and drizzle each plate with dressing, using as little or as much as you like.
Finish with additional salt and pepper, if desired.