I'm always looking for new twists on a green salad and was inspired by Cooking Light's "Easy Pasta Salad Recipes for 250 Calories" column in the June issue. It features some real neat combinations that I thought lent themselves just as easily to any kind of salad - tossed over greens or mixed with a grain such as bulgar, barley or farro. Cherry-Almond Crunch was the combo I chose: ¾ cup pitted halved fresh cherries + ¼ cup thinly sliced toasted almonds + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil + 1.5 ounces crumbled goat cheese. I happened to have some cooked tri-color quinoa on hand and thought that would be a nice addition, so I mixed all these ingredients together in a separate bowl and then gently tossed them over a combination of some mixed baby greens with herbs and Mizuna lettuce - a interesting locally grown green I picked up at Whole Foods. It reminded me of arugula - with the same deep green, long, thin and spiky leaves. I did a little research on it and discovered it is a cool season Japanese mustard green often used in salads but can also be incorporated into stir-fries and other cooked dishes. For a dressing I mixed together some vanilla yogurt, mustard and lemon juice, then thinned it out with a little water. The end result was delicious!
So much of our history can be learned through food!