Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Published January 1, 2008.

Why this recipe works:

Some salads act as humble introductions to the main course, while other salads demand attention and pack a flavor punch all their own. We had a craving for a bold salad, one using spicy and bitter greens dressed in a pungent, mustardy vinaigrette.

We started by focusing on the greens, and… read more

Some salads act as humble introductions to the main course, while other salads demand attention and pack a flavor punch all their own. We had a craving for a bold salad, one using spicy and bitter greens dressed in a pungent, mustardy vinaigrette.

We started by focusing on the greens, and chose peppery greens like arugula and watercress. We envisioned this salad as standing up to rich main dishes, like fettuccine Alfredo or a hearty meat stew, so we used both balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard as the acidic components. Minced shallot provided another strong flavor and added a bit of texture to our vinaigrette. We mixed the greens and vinaigrette together a little at a time to ensure that all the greens were well covered. Boldly flavored, this spicy salad with mustard and balsamic vinaigrette will wake up any dulled palate.

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Serves 4 as a first course

Spicy greens include arugula, watercress, mizuna, and baby mustard greens. They easily stand up to strong flavors, like mustard, shallots, and balsamic vinegar. This recipe can be doubled to serve more people.

Ingredients

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