It's officially summer in our garden! The tomatoes are off to a strong start, cucumbers are coming right along and the first sweet carrots have been harvested. What better way to celebrate than with a salad! Our lettuce had bolted in the heat, so that meant a trip to our local farmers' market. Fortunately, the real farmers know how to keep lettuce growing all summer long and I am happy to support their efforts. Buying direct from the farmer also means that the lettuce needs a little more attention in the cleaning department. Salad spinners are a necessity this time of year. Not only are they great for lettuce but also come in handy for Swiss chard, beet greens and parsley.
I was delighted to be approached by Zyliss to try out their new salad spinner.* I have been using it for about a week now rinsing my greens in the basket before spinning out the water and any remaining dirt with its easy to operate pump and find it to be an ideal kitchen tool for summer salad season. This version benefits from some clever engineering that extracts even more water from your salad greens than their previous model. It is super easy to use. I could even operate it while taking the photo below. The capacity is amazing - it held 2 healthy sized heads of lettuce and cleaned and dried them thoroughly. No more spinning lettuce in multiple batches for this household. Yes!
So on to this creamy salad dressing that I have been working on in anticipation of the opening of garden salad season. This is easy to make and yields about 1 1/2 cups of dressing which means that you will have enough for about a week's worth of salads.
Garden Salad with Creamy Chive & Garlic Dressing
by Inspired by the Seasons
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 3/4 c half and half
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 3 T white balsamic vinegar
- 1 T chives
- 1/4 tsp smoked horseradish
- 1/2 tsp salt
On a non porous cutting board, finely slice the chives and press down with the back of the knife until their juice is released. Scrape into medium sized bowl or lidded glass jar, add oil, garlic, vinegar, salt and horseradish and shake or stir vigorously. Add half and half and combine again. Place in refrigerator until ready to use on salad.
Lettuce, spinach or leafy green of choice, cleaned and chopped. Cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes or whatever your garden or your farmers' market has available. Place in large bowl and add dressing, serve immediately.
*Disclaimer: Although I received a salad spinner from Zyliss at no charge, the opinions are my own.