Chow Town

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Put spring greens on spin cycle

05/05/2013 12:00 PM

05/20/2014 10:43 AM

Spring is in the bag. Or, at least the pillowcase.

Time to get up early on Saturday morning and make the journey to your local farmers market. It is still early in the season and the spring greens are tender, vibrant and thankfully, don’t resemble the aseptic greens in the plastic bags at the grocery store. Take advantage of what the market has to offer and enjoy a restaurant-quality salad.

Ever wonder how great restaurants are able to serve the perfect salad that you enjoy before a fine meal? Simply toss clean spring greens and perhaps thinly sliced spring carrots into a large salad bowl.

Sounds easy enough but how many times have those water-laden greens ruined your dinner salad?

Here is a tip that a friend shared with me years ago and it will change your life forever. Find a 100-percent cotton pillowcase (laundered and crispy clean, of course). I keep my salad pillowcase with my kitchen linens.

Immerse the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain and place in the pillowcase. Now take that bag of greens outside — into the front yard if you would like to have your neighbors question your sanity or escape to the privacy of your backyard. Lift the pillowcase high above your head and swing madly in a circular fashion. Water will spray all directions and the cotton will absorb any excess.

Voila! Perfect salad greens.

Place the greens in the salad bowl and add a few thinly sliced carrots then whisk together a simple French vinaigrette. The ingredients in French vinaigrette are so simple, yet come together perfectly.

French Vinaigrette Makse 1/2 cup 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I prefer Maille brand) 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot Pinch of sea salt 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, shallot and salt. Add the olive oil and whisk until the dressing comes together and is blended. Add a small amount to the greens and toss gently. Do not add too much dressing or the salad will be ruined.

Roxanne Wyss is one of two individuals that make up The Electrified Cooks. She is the author of 4 cookbooks on the Babycakes treat line of cupcakes and cake pops, and her most recent book is Triple Slow Cooker Entertaining. A professional home economist, she develops the recipes for the “Eating for Life” column for The Kansas City Star, and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the International Association of Culinary Professionals

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