One of my favorite things to make from my garden is a simple mixed green salad with an ultra-easy lemon vinaigrette. They are so easy, refreshing, and beautiful! I like to pick my greens when they are still little, I think they are just more tender and have better flavor that way. This year I am growing spinach, butter-crunch lettuce, and arugula, my three favorites. If you’ve never had arugula before, you have to try it! It’s like a cross between a lettuce and an herb, it has a lovely peppery flavor that adds a kick to whatever you put it in.
If some of my spinach leaves get a little big, I still harvest them and just keep them in a baggie to throw in smoothies – you really don’t even know it’s in there. My pre-dinner snack for hungry boys lately has been smoothies. It’s healthy and keeps ’em occupied for a while! Anyways, back to the salad. I either just use the greens or if I have other salad ingredients on hand I’ll toss those in. Onion, tomato, peppers, and cucumbers are some of my favorites.
This lemon vinaigrette has been something my mother and grandmother have been making forever. I think it definitely speaks to our strong Italian heritage, my brother lived there for a couple years and said their dressings were always very simple – oil and vinegar. It is so simple I hesitate to even make a recipe printable! But I will, don’t you worry. I never measure when I make it, so feel free to adjust the measures in the recipe according to your salad size or taste preference. This lemon vinaigrette is also delicious on a cucumber salad, I love it much more than a creamy dill dressing!