This is my winning recipe (I hope). This is also the dish that made my husband propose. (Ok, I may be exaggerating about that, but at our wedding shower, it was revealed in the hokey and public quiz that this was his favorite dish that I made.) I invented this a few years ago and just entered it in the Cooking Light recipe contest b/c you can win $20,000 if you are the grand prize winner. For that reason, I had to come up with the exact proportions of ingredients. I normally don't - have never- counted exact measurements or proportions of ingredients. I have always cooked by sense . . .
You start off with a bunch of herbs. The herbs I recommend are:
Dill: 1/2 cup, chopped.
Don't mince it, like you would for egg salad. Remember, this is a salad ingredient.
Next, I like to use chives: 1 cup is about what I figured for the recipe.
Don't chop them up small, like you would for a baked potato, etc. Make them long-cut.
Next, the cilantro. You will need a lot of cilantro. I recommend approximately 1.5 cups of chopped cilantro, stems trimmed.
Then, 1 bunch of green onions, including the white parts.
Incredibly important in the herb salad is the basil. LOTS of basil. I recommend 2 cups of basil, loosely packed. The basil should not be chopped up small, but in bite-sized lettuce leaf sizes, like so:
Then, you can add approximately 1.5 cups of chopped firmly packed lettuce - field greens, arugula, watercress, etc. to give your salad some body. But the real body comes from the basil, realize. I highly recommend using arugula.
Now that you have all of these herbs chopped up, prepare the following:
1.5 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1.5 cups black olives
- mix into the herb mixture.
Mix in 3/4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and toss well. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss well. Squeeze in the juice of 1.5 lemons and toss well. This salad dressing technique is especially great for distributing flavor and the order, I have found, is key. Take some goat cheese and sprinkle on top of the salad.
Your salad will look like this, or hopefully not like this, since the lighting in my house is really bad for food photos!
The herbs burst with flavor, the lemon brings it out more, the tomatoes are sweet, the goat cheese is nice and creamy with a tang of saltiness, and the olives lift all of these flavors up.
Enjoy, serve it to your friends, but don't enter it into any recipe contests as your own!
Aside note: you can use any herbs you want for this, and adjust the proportions for whatever you have on hand or whatever is in your garden. These are the herbs we like the best . . . use what you like!
HERB SALAD RECIPE:
1/2 cup dill
1 cup chives
1.5 cup cilantro
1 bunch green onions
2 cups basil
1.5 cups greens (like arugula or field greens)
(all above chopped)
1.5 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1.5 cups black olives
3/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
juice of 1.5 lemons
Chop all herbs and mix. Add tomatoes and olives. Toss with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss. Add lemon juice and toss. Serve onto plates and spoon crumbled goat cheese onto top of salad.