Food, I believe, is meant to be shared. Sitting down with family or friends (or ideally both!) over a good meal, home-cooked or otherwise, always fills me with a great feeling of joy and belonging, often reinforced by enthusiastic anecdotes, spirited debates, and unbridled laughter before the end of the meal. This recipe combines my love of good company with my recent love of salads. Perfect for a midsummer get-together, this salad can be thrown together in mere minutes and is easily adapted to the tastes of whoever you happen to be eating with. Use fresh seasonal vegetables from your garden or farmers market, add chicken or steak for extra protein, or make it interactive by inviting everyone to bring their favorite ingredients. By the end of the meal, I hope you’ll feel that lovely glow of an evening well spent.
Family Style Summer Salad (adapted from Eat Boutique)
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp spicy or dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed
- 3 ounces mixed greens*
- 1/4 cup herbs of choice*
- 1/4 head red cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, shelled
- 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels, roasted
*I actually used a salad mix that included cilantro, parsley, and dill. Nearly any herbs should work well here though, so use whatever you have on hand.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp spicy or dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, then slowly pour in 1/4 cup olive oil while continuing to whisk until emulsified, then set aside.
- Fill a small saucepan with water, and bring to a boil, then add 1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed, and blanch until bright green and tender crisp, about 1 minute. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool.
- In a large bowl or on a large platter, layer 3 ounces mixed greens, 1/4 cup herbs of choice, 1/4 head red cabbage, roughly chopped, the green beans, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds, 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, shelled, and 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels, roasted.
- Drizzle with the dressing or serve with the dressing on the side for people to add themselves.