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
I also like adding:
a handful of pinenuts
a handful of craisins
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.