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July 16, 2010

Mom’s Green Salad

my mom's salad

While living under my parents roof, we were obligated to eat salad every night at dinner. As a mom, I applaud my mother for providing us with a healthy meal every night. As a child, I begrudgingly ate my salad; complaining the whole time.  A few years ago my mother fell in love with Ina Garten. She starting watching all of her shows, and then bought all of her cookbooks. Her Ina recipe binge has been quite a treat for our family and her dinner party guests! The only drawback is that we have to hear “Ina this and Ina that. Ina Ina Ina!” Occasionally a phone call is ended because an episode of Barefoot Contessa is on.

I love Ina

She tried this simple green salad dressing a few years ago and it has become a necessary staple in her fridge. It’s elevated the nightly dinner salad (which had a basic oil & vinegar dressing)into something quite fancy! I find myself going back for second & third helpings whenever I’m at my parent’s house for dinner.  I’m guilty of making too much of this salad when I’m helping her in the kitchen because I really just want as much as possible.

The ingredients of her salad are simple. This dressing is mixed with sliced cucumbers, vine ripened tomatoes, green onions, romaine lettuce & the hot ticket item-THE AVOCADO. My brother still grabs the bowl at the end of the meal and hogs all of the avocado chunks. I’ve always hated that. But if we didn’t fight over avocados and crispy potatoes, the Earth would stop spinning.

Let’s get started with the dressing!

Gather the ingredients. I like to make my dressing in a recycled jar. Re-purpose, baby!!

ingredients

Here’s the egg yolk, garlic & Dijon mustard. Afraid of yolk? Add a dollop of plain yogurt instead. Whisk!

egg, mustard, garlic

Slowly add the oil in. Season with salt & pepper. Put the lid on and SHAKE it like a Polaroid picture!

oil

Tada. Here’s your dressing!

after a few shakes

So this is what my mom’s salad consists of. This will make enough for 4-5 people.

ingredients in salad

My brother and I always get frustrated watching mom peel the skin off the avocado with a knife.

We like to use a spoon to dig out the chunks. My mom tried this way once and continued on with her way. Go figure.

AVO!

The sliced cucumber, green onions & chopped tomatoes get tossed in the salad bowl. She adds the lettuce and finishes with an avocado right before we are ready to serve.

Look at all that avo!! Sometimes she uses two!

avo porn

And then comes the dressing. The sun is always coming down at this point, making salad leaves glow and glisten in that last bit of warm light. It’s about 6pm. The prime time for making salad.

dressing

And here we get a peak of what it looks like…I love the green onions in here. They add a nice bite.

tossing

Now eat your greens!! Or my mom might take that toy away from you!

Vinaigrette for Green Salad

(Recipe from Ina Garten- Barefoot in Paris)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. (Or shake it up in a jar if you don’t feel like bothering)

Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.

Notes:

-I used my dad’s red wine vinegar for this particular salad. My mom doesn’t like it in this dressing. She normally uses white vinegar. I used what I have.

-When I was pregnant, my mom omitted the raw egg. It doesn’t add that much of a taste to the dressing. Just makes it thicker. If you are scared of an egg yolk, add a dollop of Greek yogurt in. You would never know the difference. I do this with my Caesar salad too.   ***Update**** My mom actually OMITS the egg entirely now! Go figure!

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