Fruits and Veggies - Fresh Canned Frozen

Zesty Mesclun Salad

From the Strive for Five at School! Resources
Adapted from Canadian Cook Book, Nellie Lyle Pattinson

Yield: 6
Portion: 1 cup (250 mL)
Cost per serving: $0.56

6 cups (120 g) mesclun salad mix
6 tbsp (90 mL) feta cheese
2/3 red pepper
6 tbsp (75 mL) Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (see below)

1 Wash the salad and pat dry.
2 Crumble the feta cheese.
3 Wash and thinly slice the red pepper to make rings. Remove the seeds as you go along.
4 For each serving, place 1 cup (250 mL) of the salad mix on a small plate, sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the crumbled feta cheese, and top with a red-pepper ring.
5 Just before serving, drizzle 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the Raspberry Vinaigrette over the each serving.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Adapted from Simply in Season: Recipes That Celebrate Fresh, Local Foods in the Spirit of More-With-Less, Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) frozen raspberries (thawed)
1/8 tsp (1 mL) prepared mustard
pinch salt
pinch pepper, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) poppy seeds

1 Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse briefly until they are well blended.

For an alternative flavour, lime juice may be substituted for the lemon juice and 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped red onion may be substituted for the poppy seeds. This dressing works well on a spinach salad. For more raspberry flavour, try adding 1/4 cup (50 mL) frozen raspberries to the salad mix just before putting it on the plates.

Always add the dressing right before serving; otherwise the salad will lose its crispness and be limp and unappetizing. Mesclun salad is slightly more expensive than other lettuce but can easily be extended by adding less-expensive greens such as iceberg or romaine lettuce.

Vinaigrette is basically a mixture of oil with an acid such as vinegar or juice that is combined with the help of an emulsifying ingredient such as mustard or paprika. The tartness of a vinaigrette may be improved by adding a small amount of a sweetener such as maple syrup.

Did You Know?

• There are two main types of lettuce: head lettuce and leaf lettuce. Iceberg and romaine are both head lettuces. Leaf lettuce comes in many colours and shapes.

• Lettuce is rich in calcium, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K and is packed full of potassium, folic acid, and magnesium.

• Mesclun is a mix of lettuce and other greens that are harvested at a very young age. Young children and teenagers may enjoy it as it has a more delicate flavour than older greens, which may be more bitter. It will absorb a vinaigrette or salad dressing much faster than other heartier greens such as iceberg or romaine lettuce.