Mixed Green Salads are served all over the world, but I always appreciate the creativity of the Americas who typically give this dish an interesting and welcome twist. I remember when I tried Mixed Green Salad at a New York salad bar many years ago, and I thought to myself it was the best salad I had ever tasted. Since first trying this salad, I have made it at least once every week of my life. Although the basic recipe remains the same I constantly tinker with new toppings, oils and vinegars to give the dish a fresh taste.
Mixed Green Salads are served in the US as a side dish, appetizer or main course. With everyone watching their waistlines these days, mixed green salads are often offered as a substitution for a starchy side. In Brasil, where I come from, they serve this salad along side your entree, but instead of offering you a dressing, the provide olive oil and vinegar and leave you are in charge of dressing your salad. There are many restaurants in the United States serving ONLY salad with a choice toppings. The choices are virtually unlimited and these establishments are typically packed with patrons.
For this recipe I chose to a variety of greens and arugula with boston lettuce, cucumbers, dried cranberries and grilled goat cheese as a protein. You could also add instead crumbled blue cheese, caramelized walnuts or pistachios. You could serve this delicious Mixed Green Salad on its own or as a meal on itself. If you make it a meal, you may wish to add grilled chicken, beef or shrimp. This salad is also great to serve at dinner parties, barbecues or other gatherings.
Now, lets talk about the salad dressing. What takes a Mixed Green Salad from good to great is the dressing. I would recommend you use a high quality extra virgin olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar. Compromising on the quality of these ingredients will definitely affect the flavor of your dressing. As you will see I also add a clove of garlic to help infuse the oil with flavor.
I hope you enjoy making this Mixed Green Salad for your family and friends. Bon Appetite!
- Mixed salad greens to serve 6 to 8 people
- 1 head of boston lettuce broken into pieces
- 3 small persian cucumbers peeled in stripes and sliced
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- Optional: Goat cheese
- For the salad dressing:
- ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 TSP of good quality mustard
- 1 TSP of sugar
- ½ TSP of salt
- 1 large garlic clove cut in half
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a small glass container, whisk together the balsamic vinegar with the mustard, the sugar, the salt and the garlic clove.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk until the olive oil is emulsified into the dressing.
- Mix the salad greens and toppings. Dress lightly being sure to discard the garlic cloves from the mixture. Add the dressing slowly. It is better to add more if needed than to leave your salad swimming in dressing. You should add just enough dress to moisten the salad. Taste your salad. Add more dressing if necessary. You may also offer your guests fresh ground pepper.
- Serve on individual plates topped with broiled goat cheese. Before broiling your cheese. freeze it for one hour and then cut into 1.5 inch slices. Broil until the top becomes golden brown. Watch carefully to ensure your goat cheese does not burn.