Tossed Green Salad, 2010

 - by Elizabeth

Part of our Memorial Day dinner was this salad, with LOTS of vegetables in it.  You can’t really taste the “secret additions,” but it adds crunch, texture and moisture to a standard tossed green salad.  I learned to add these while in Italy, staying at an Albergo, or hotel, on Lake Maggiore that had a restaurant attached.  Actually I should say the hotel was attached to the restaurant, because the food side of things had been going strong for about 120 years (the hotel had been built only a few years earlier).

So, in a large bowl place:
a varitey salad greens, cut into slices rather than torn
Chinese cabbage, sliced very thin, then cut into 2-3″ strips
1/4 zucchini, grated
chopped tomato

I also like adding:
a handful of pinenuts
a handful of craisins
some croutons

Toss with tongs (or your clean hands) to mix all the ingredients.

Then, over the top, pour anywhere from 3 Tablespoons to 6 Tablespoons olive oil, depending on the size of the salad you are making.  The one above, for 4-6 people, had about 1/4 cup oil drizzled over the top.

Give several shakes of red wine vinegar over the top of that.  Then grind on some salt–6-7 grinds (don’t skimp on this–it interacts with the vinegar to made it really yummy) and then grind on some pepper.

Toss it all again to coat the leaves.

I know we all used to use balsamic vinegar, but unfortunately the balsamic vinegars I can afford are much too strong, so I found the red wine vinegar to be a good substitute.  Now if your budget allows for the $15/bottle balsamics, use that instead.

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