My method for making what I call Michigan Salad involves picking options from a list and creating a combination that appeals to you. Some results are classic -- like tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella is called capresi. Or spinach, pears, walnuts and dried cherries, which was a restaurant fad in the 80s. Each item is optional, as long as you like the resulting combo:
- Wash some greens. Saturday we had locally grown spinach. Today: lettuce and peppery greens like arugula and others from the Farmers Market. The greens go in the bottom of the bowl.
- Add some fruit: dried Traverse Bay cranberries or cherries or Calif. raisins are nice. So are pears, apples, mango, avocado, or tomato (yes it is a fruit). Today's tomatoes were local, but grown in a greenhouse, so they are safe but not wonderful.
- Add flavor to the fruit with whichever is appropriate: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, other flavored vinegar, salt, pepper.
- Garnish with fresh herbs like chives, parsley, cilantro, basil, or tarragon.
- Toast some nuts like walnuts or almonds and sprinkle over fruit.
- Add some soft cheese such as goat, fresh mozzarella, blue. Today I had Zingerman's Creamery goat with tarragon from the Farmers Market.
- Drizzle olive oil over the whole salad.