Lettuce lovers, this is your week.
Lettuces of all varieties are coming into season now, and you'll find a wide assortment of salad greens at local farmers markets.
In many places, the strawberry crop is still coming in, so combine the two into one recipe for a strawberry salad with a sweet, homemade orange dressing.
Every bite is a taste of summer.
Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad With Almonds and Creamy Orange Dressing
Makes: 4 servings.
For the dressing:
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
• 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
For the salad:
• 1 small head butter lettuce, leaves separated and washed, dried and chilled
• 3 to 4 ounces mixed baby lettuces, washed, dried and chilled
• 2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
• 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
• Fine sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and orange juice concentrate until combined. Add the marmalade and whisk again until well blended. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Reserve 4 large whole leaves of butter lettuce for plating. Carefully tear the remaining leaves into bite-sized pieces.
To assemble the salads, spoon 1 tablespoon of dressing in the center of each of 4 serving plates (This enables the salad to have enough dressing, while keeping it fresh looking right up until serving). Place a whole, large leaf of butter lettuce off-center on the plate. Scatter a handful of torn butter lettuce and a handful of mixed baby greens over the entire plate. Scatter 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds over the greens. Drizzle each salad with an additional tablespoon of dressing and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, with remaining dressing in a bowl or small pitcher on the table to add if desired.
"The Artist, the Cook and the Gardener," Maryjo Koch ($26.99, hardcover, Andrews McMeel)