Can I just say Wow?! My friend, Valerie Patterson of Hidden Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Sonoma, made this for her friend who owns a winery.
I have to say that although this salad is super simple, it is also super delicious.
I am so used to throwing everything into a salad that it is a little refreshing to have a delicious and simple salad that will pair with most anything.
Using fresh and quality ingredients are very important for this salad. Costco has a very nice aged Parmigiano Reggiano at a decent price.
Use a potato peeler for the perfect ribbon of Parmigian to top your salad with.
Grapeseed oil! What?
I have to confess I have really never used grapeseed oil. I love it in this vinaigrette because it is light bodied, non-greasy tasting and has a slightly nutty flavor. Another great thing about grapeseed oil is that it will not cloud when chilled.
Where does grapeseed oil come from? It is basically a by-product of winemaking. Grapeseed oil is made from the grape seeds contained in pomace, which is the solid leftover after the juice has been expressed from grapes in winemaking. Extracting grapeseed oil is more difficult than other oils because the grape seed itself is small, has a hard shell, and contains a small amount of oil.
The seeds are well-protected against chemicals, such as agricultural sprays. Grapeseed oil is also high in vitamin E and Omega-6 acid. This great little oil is low in saturated fats (only 5%) and is one of the few natural foods known to raise your HDL (your good cholesterol).
Can you cook with grapeseed oil? Why yes you can. It actually has a rather high smoke point of 485 degrees F.
So grab yourself a little grapeseed oil next time you are in your local market. I have to say I am sold on the stuff.
In a medium-sized bowl toss together your greens and thinly sliced red onions.
In a small bowl whisk together your grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. A little fresh garlic would be a nice addition, too.
Toss in the vinaigrette. Plate and top with Parmigan ribbons. Enjoy!
Simple Green Salad with Grapeseed Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette
By Valerie Patterson, Hidden Oaks Bed and Breakfast, Sonoma, CA
6 cups of your favorite tender baby greens
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup or so of freshly grated Parmigan cheese
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized bowl toss together the greens and red onion. In a small bowl whisk together the grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Toss with the greens. Divide salad among four plates and top with Parmigan.