CBC Calgary

Food & wine with Cinda Chavich and Mary Bailey

Crunchy, delicious and right in your own backyard


When fresh lettuces are available at the market (or from the garden) combine as many as possible for this fresh bowl of summer flavor. Leaf lettuce, baby turnip greens and romaine all complement each other nicely, offering both flavor and texture contrasts, and taking a plain green salad into serious gourmet territory. If you can get some watercress or arugula it will give your salad a nice peppery bite, or pick some nasturtium leaves from the flower bed for a similar zing.

While you can add anything to a green salad (or nothing at all), it's easy to tote with some chopped green onions, pea shoots and pine nuts balanced on top. Add the sliced pears and avocados with the dressing at the last minute and toss. This salad is comfortable among others on a buffet or individually plated for a fancier dinner. From The Girl Can't Cook, by Cinda Chavich.


1/4 cup orange juice 50 ml

1 teaspoon lemon juice 5 ml

salt and black pepper

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 50 ml

8 cups mixed salad greens 2 L

1 ripe pear (regular or Asian), cored and very thinly sliced 1

1 avocado 1

1 teaspoon lemon juice 5 ml

2 cups pea shoots (optional but often found at Asian markets) 500 ml

3 green onions, finely chopped 3

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts 75 ml

Whirl the dressing ingredients together in a blender to emulsify or combine in a small jar and shake like crazy. Set aside.

Wash the greens well in a sink full of cold water and spin dry in a salad spinner. If not using right away, pack loosely in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel, seal and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. This will insure your salad is crisp.

If you're serving immediately, slice the pear very thin, leaving the skin on, and then cut into flat batons or 1-inch squares. Peel the avocado, and cut into thin slices or slivers. Toss avocado with the lemon juice to prevent it from discoloring. (If you're transporting this salad, don't slice the pear and avocado in advance - do it when you're ready to serve).

Pick out a large, pretty salad bowl and fill with mixed lettuces. Toss to combine well. Top with pea shoots, green onions and pine nuts. If you're taking it somewhere, stop at this point.

Add the pear and avocado, drizzle with the dressing and toss just before serving. Serves 6.


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