Saturday, August 15, 2009

Insalata Misto (Mixed Salad)

This salad took me only a few minutes to prepare while my pasta was baking. The dressing can easily be made ahead. The dressing turns a brillant green color and is a nice colorful addition to a spring or summer table. The flavor on the dressing really shined through but was not overpowering. This recipe is a great way to enjoy all of the health benefits fresh basil offers and have a tasty dressing. I also liked shaving the vegetables for this salad. It makes an ordinary salad look a little fancier.

Insalata Misto (Mixed Salad)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups arugula
  • 4 cups bite-size pieces radicchio, from 1 (10-ounce) head
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled

Blend the basil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.

Place the arugula and radicchio in a wide shallow bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrot over the salad. Shave the cucumber into a medium bowl. Pat the cucumber shavings with paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Add the cucumbers to the salad.

Do-Ahead Tip: The vinaigrette and salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate. Whisk the dressing to blend before using.

Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

Source: Giada de Laurentis, Everyday Pasta, Clarkson Potter, 2007.

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