Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mixed Green Salad with Parmigiana Crisps (or Bowls)

1 cup grated Parmigiano
4 cups salad greens, such as mesclun, arugula, red leaf, romaine or baby spinach
1 cup mixed fresh herb leaves, such as parsley, basil, oregano, chives or cilantro
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds or chopped hazelnuts, or toasted pine nuts

Preparing the crisps or bowls:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with a silicone mat. Make 4 even, very thin circles of Parmigiano on the mat. Be sure that the circles are not touching. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted, turned golden brown and looks like lace. Remove the tray from the oven and let the crisps cool for about 1 minute. Using a spatula, remove the crisps from the silicone mat and reserve on a plate.

Preparing the salad:
In a large bowl, place the cleaned and dried mixed greens and herbs. Add the tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. Drizzle in half of the oil and vinegar and season with salt. Using your hands, gently toss the salad to combine. Taste, and add the remaining oil and vinegar, if needed and season again with salt, if needed. The salad should be very flavorful but not soggy.

Arrange the salad on individual salad plates or bowls. Sprinkle each salad with the nuts and garnish with a Parmigiano crisp.


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