Taggiasca and Honey Ginger Mesclun Salad

April 25, 2018

Floral-scented Taggiasca EVOO & Honey Ginger Vinegar make simple dressing for Spring salads!

 

The Origin of Mesclun Salad Greens

 

In the 1980s mesclun salad ,(from the verb "mesclar", which means

"to mix thoroughly") , was  the rage in California restaurants. It

was considered exotic, for its use of  unusual and bitter young greens

introduced diners to salad in the style of Southern France. Not too

long afterwards, greengrocers offered pre-mixed bags of young

leaves, typically some green leaves of different textures with

radicchio added for color.  I confess that for many years I thought

"mesclun" was a specific mix, however that is not so.

 

Dandelion, lettuce, and arugula are typical offerings of the

any good French farmer's market, local produce, being the

main attrasction. Today it's generally accepted that a good

"mesclun", spring mix is what is local and on hand.

 

Your choices will most likely be broad and varied so you'll

be able to  select a range for a true mix of flavor, texture,

and color.  The key is to opt for quality of quantity.  Make

your selection light and delicate, varying the flavors so that

each bite special.

 

Select Quality Greens and Varied Flavors

 

We selected four different greens in the salad above -endive,

fennel, mâche, and arugula , and we embellished with  avocado

wedges, very thinly sliced cucumber, and grapefruit  suprêmes

before finishing with oil, vinegar and freshly cracked pepper.

 

Choose The Right Olive Oil

Add A White Balsamic

 

One of my favorite olive oils to complement a spring mix is our

Taggiasca variety extra virgin olive oil because it is moderately

robust and can stand up to bitter greens, yet its soft floral aroma

offers a foil for the "green-ness" of  an early harvest olive oil.  We

have a few thousand Taggiasca trees growing  about 8 minutes

north west of our olive mill and tasting  room, and while the olive

variety originated in Liguria, what we do is a "California style".

 

Ligurian producers harvest very late for a light and buttery result;

we harvest this variety early in the season to bring out the fruit

and floral nature of the olive.

 

To finish this spring salad and best complement the flavors present

we recommend one of our white balsamic vinegars, or perhaps the

rosé "Rosato" balsamic vinegar we introduced a few months ago.

We selected our Honey Ginger balsamic vinegar for this presentation

and think you'll agree that the combination is magic.

 

Happy cooking and please enjoy in good health!

 

 

 

Liz Tagami

General Manager

 

 

This vinegar's complex bouquet and full flavor of fruit and flowers comes naturally from the sweetness of honey, the warmth of ginger root, and the bright but mild acidity of white grape must.

 

 


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