I am just back from a trip home, having spent the last two weeks in the little Maine coastal town where I grew up. At face value, it still looks much like the sleepy village of 30 years ago. But looks can be deceiving. There are ALL SORTS of exciting things going on – a growing community of boat builders, food artisans, writers and marine researchers, a thriving theater & music scene and a burgeoning sustainable farming movement.
You can really see it best at the Saturday morning farmer’s market. We had a chance to go this past weekend. Still weeks away from the “high season”, the market was bustling. I hadn’t gone with anything in mind. Instead, I opted to look for inspiration in whatever was available. There was no shortage of options. The tomatoes were in, the carrots & beets looked fabulous but it was the lettuces that really stood out. Gorgeous!
That night, we made the biggest, simplest, most delicious green salad. The lettuce was just too lovely on it’s own to “clutter” it with other ingredients (this coming from a girl that LOVES her chopped salads). Just a bit of ribboned kale, shaved fennel and radicchio to add a variety in flavor. I will always be a fan of “busy” salads but sometimes simplicity works just as well.
1 small head leafy green lettuce, torn into small bite-size pieces
5-6 leaves of kale, de-stemmed & ribboned
1 small head radicchio, ribboned
1/2 cup basil leaves, ribboned
1 cup fennel, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground pepper
- Toss the lettuce, kale, radicchio, basil and fennel together in a large salad bowl.
- Meanwhile, combine the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and shallots in a small mixing bowl. Stir until the are well combined. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the pepper to taste.
- Add the dressing to the salad. Toss well until all the leaves are evenly covered.