Salad Days

  • Salad Days
By Jim Feldman
Report from the Salad Garden

One of my greatest pleasures in life is growing organic vegetables in my kitchen garden. As soon as I can get into the gardens in spring, I’m happily covered in mud. From spring into early summer the gardens are full of crisp, flavorful lettuces and greens, and there’s always a salad on the table.

This year, to make it even better, I have been experimenting with Eliunt Extra Virgin Oils from their spectacular Compendium Collection. Eliunt’s Monte Ida is subtle and smooth, perfect for young green and red leaf lettuces. I am loving Eliunt’s Holy Oil from Jordan, with its bitter, grassy notes drizzled on crusty bread served with breakfast radishes. Arugula and Frisee both rank high at my table, and are a great match for Eliunt’s Anfora from Italy.

My mother taught me that when making a dressing, add vinegar first. It’s less expensive than olive oil, and an overly generous pour can ruin a well intentioned dressing. I have finally found wine vinegars to match fine olive oil, made by Calvi in Liguria. Calvi Red Wine Vinegar is the best I have found. It’s made with with Sangiovese grapes, making it fruity and fragrant. Calvi’s White Wine Vinegar is stunning, made from Trebbiano grapes, a fresh light taste that enhances salads rather than overwhelm them. To add a touch of sweetness to the dressing, I use Giusti Banda Rossa Balsamic Vinegar. Syrupy and rich in flavor, don’t overdo it, a little dab will do you.

Salad days are here. Enjoy.

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