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Herbed Garden Salad with Goat Cheese

This salad shows off the bright flavor of fresh greens and fragrant herbs. Mix different kinds of greens—like bitter curly endive and radicchio, spicy watercress and arugula, and mild butter lettuce and baby spinach. If using lettuces from your garden, show the kids how to harvest them, then have them rinse and dry the greens and the herbs and toss the salad together.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herb leaves, such as tarragon, flat-leaf parsley, dill, chervil and chives, in any combination
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • White wine vinegar, as needed
  • 1/2 lb. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the greens and herbs. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat lightly and then toss. Season with salt and pepper and the sugar, and then toss the greens again and taste.

Drizzle with 1 to 2 tsp. vinegar and toss. Taste for tanginess and seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and vinegar as needed.

Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Variations: Make a season of salads:

In spring, add sliced blanched asparagus, diced artichoke hearts, or fava beans with cubed pecorino.

In summer, toss in fresh corn kernels, ripe cherry tomatoes or diced heirloom tomatoes, and cucumber slices.

In fall, add apple, pear or Fuyu persimmon slices, or pomegranate seeds.

In winter, tangerine, grapefruit or blood orange sections are good additions. Crushed or whole toasted almonds, pine nuts or pecans add crunch, while a blue-veined cheese, such as Gorgonzola, or shards of a salty, nutty hard cheese, like pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, can replace the mild goat cheese.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).