Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

By on May 9, 2012

By Jennifer Cote –

Mother’s Day is coming fast! I never know quite what to get mom, aside from some flowers or maybe a special meal. Some folks are more creative; there are those who are perfectly gifted in the “gift of giving”—they can almost always think of the perfect gift for someone.

But as I worked up a recipe for Mother’s Day I realized: God is showing me something in the process. I don’t need to compare myself with anyone else; I am completely unique! We all have our gifts, and must use them accordingly.

I’m actually not really a “foodie”, though I might occasionally fall onto the broad path where foodies talk about their 15-year-old aged balsamic vinegar and what-not. I soon regain my senses; I’m just happy if I’ve discovered a way to make my own raspberry vinegar, out of “leftovers”.

And although I enjoy gardening, I won’t be heartbroken if I can’t grow Radicchio. Some Arugula reseeded in my garden years ago, and has continued to proliferate annually. While I can create a dish with “snob appeal”, adding the name “Arugula” to the end of some poetic menu item, the truth is: I’m adding it to tonight’s dinner just because I have some handy.

Perhaps we should just be who we are, without pretensions. After all, it was probably not pretensions in the Middle East, that inspired the creation of Tabbouleh (“Come, let us create a trendy new food containing spearmint and cucumber…”). No, I think Tabbouleh was created because spearmint was overtaking a corner of the garden and it tasted refreshing!

But back to that raspberry vinegar: It was a pleasant surprise making this discovery. After cooking up some Raspberry Mousse in Chocolate Cups, I had a leftover mash of raspberry seeds, from straining them out of the concoction. I wondered if brewing them in a jar of white vinegar would yield the desired effect, so I gave it a try. It worked! The resulting “raspberry vinegar” was right on par with others I sampled from the grocery store, only at considerably less cost.

I suppose I might pride myself in making something “on the cheap”. It might even sound snobbish to say, “Oh, I just added some of that stuff growing wild in the garden!” But we all have our own style, and perhaps it’s OK to take some pride in that. God gave us all our own individual gifts; maybe the only thing to avoid is: Wanting someone else’s gifts, instead of appreciating our own!

Green Salad w/Raspberry Vinaigrette

After straining the seeds from raspberries for a dessert, I discovered that adding some white vinegar to the leftover seeds produced a very tasty raspberry vinegar, at a fraction of the cost of specialty vinegars. The raspberry flavor permeates the vinegar as it steeps; it will keep for quite some time. 

I implemented the flavored vinegar into this light, tasty green salad recipe; a perfect complement to any meal. With a batch of the raspberry vinegar on hand, already brewed, you can throw the salad together in a jiff. The raspberry vinegar will make quite a few green salads. The green salad serves 4 or so.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. frozen, thawed, mashed raspberries (or seeds, from straining)
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • 3 TBS. maple syrup (or honey)
  • 5 oz. bag spring mix salad greens
  • 2-3 TBS. olive oil
  • Sprinkling of salt
  • Fresh fruit for garnish: Raspberries, Mango, or Papaya
  • Toasted nuts, if desired, for extra texture

In a pint-sized container/jar, add: > 1 c. frozen, thawed, mashed raspberries (or seeds, from straining)

Add: > 1 c. white vinegar

Let this concoction steep at least a day. It will keep for months like this, for a stronger brew. After straining, add: > 3 TBS. maple syrup (or honey)

Store the strained, sweetened brew in the refrigerator. Add to any variety of salads. For a simple, refreshing salad, add to a salad bowl: > 5 oz. bag spring mix salad greens

Toss leaves with:  > 2-3 TBS. olive oil > sprinkling of salt

Add: > 2-3 TBS. or so raspberry-vinegar mix

Toss again, top with garnish of diced papaya or other fresh fruit. Add toasted nuts, if desired, for extra texture.

 

Jennifer Cote, with husband Tom, opened The New Deli Cafe in Pinole, CA back in 1985. Her cookbook,From the Land of Milk and Honey“, is available at the shop and online. Recipes and more (including video tutorials) can be found at jennifercote.org. Comments, questions? Email Jennifer at [email protected]

About Jennifer Cote

Jennifer's love of cooking with natural ingredients is inspired by the organic garden she's cultivated for over 25 years. A cutting garden provides flowers for The New Deli Cafe, an herb garden lends herbs for culinary creations, and twenty-some fruit and nut trees are scattered throughout her fairly urban back yard. New Deli compost keeps the garden flourishing, as Jen and her family carry on the family business, established in 1985. A blessed grandmother, mother, and wife, Jen gets much joy from sharing recipes (and perhaps an occasional basket of figs or platter of home-baked goodies).

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Green Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette