I am a salad snob. Ask my husband. Ask my friends. No overly dressed salads for me. No favorite dressing that appears on every salad I make. I strongly feel that the dressing should compliment the salad and not overpower it. I really, really want to taste the salad, not just the dressing. I also want interesting, complimentary salad ingredients. I consider this salad, based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, to be genius. Genius because it takes ingredients, some of which on their own are nothing in particular, but combining them in the right combination becomes well, genius. Tired of balsamic vinegar? This recipe takes takes balsamic to a new, refreshed level.
We often vary the recipe based on what is in the refrigerator (we live 70 miles from a full grocery store) but always stay true to the bitter, peppery, sweet and salty combination. The mild bite of thinly sliced red onion is our standard addition to Jamie's recipe. Crispy pancetta is also nice.
big handfuls of arugula (or other peppery green such as watercress)
small radicchio, finely sliced (or another bitter green)
Parmesan cheese, grated with a microplane (your best quality) plus more a little more for serving
Pretend you are Jamie with this one. Use your hands. Smile. Mix the radicchio, handfuls of arugula and parmesan, along with the red onion in a bowl. Dress with half of the balsamic, half of the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Mix carefully and add more balsamic and olive oil, if needed, to coat the greens lightly. Grate a little extra parmesan over the salad and eat right away! Rejoice in the flavors!
PS: Be careful not to overdress and keep the ratio of balsamic to olive oil 1 to 3.