You can find a salad similar to this on the menus of many restaurants, and if the ingredients are as fresh as if you just picked them from the garden, it will taste delicious. With a goal to eat greener, I have tossed this quick and easy 1-minute salad with tender baby spinach, which you may not find in the restaurant salad. I’ll have to suggest it to them next time I see it on a menu.
2 cups washed baby spinach (I use Organic Girl)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 container fresh mozzarella balls (Pearls – the smallest size)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn from the stems
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
a big pinch of fresh grated parmesan cheese (no bottled please!)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Toss all the ingredients in a large glass bowl or container until the oil and vinegar lightly cover everything. Don’t add too much dressing or it will subtract from the natural flavors the vegetables have to offer. I say I don’t want my veggies swimming or even wading, but just getting their toes wet. Once you’ve tossed the ingredients, serve in a plate or shallow bowl.
Note: You could add more ingredients such as different greens, capers, pine nuts or oregano, but I like to keep this refreshing salad simple.