Last week was the first week for both our CSA and the local farmers’ market… I was thrilled to finally have an abundance of fresh and local produce. Our CSA box included strawberries, snap peas, green onions, radishes, and lettuce… Lots of lettuce! When I stopped at the farmers’ market, it was more of the same. There was a lot more lettuce.
I’m ashamed to say that lettuce is probably my least favorite vegetable. I know I should like it… I should eat more salads. But, it’s just one of those things that I have trouble getting excited about. So, I’m always looking for creative ways to jazz up my lettuce to make it more interesting.
One of my favorite salads during my freshman year of college was made up of a handful of chicken fingers (probably 5 or 6), crunchy noodles, and a lot of thick and creamy honey mustard dressing. I gained a few pounds that year and spent a lot of my sophomore year trying to eat healthier and work out to lose the extra pounds.
I still love the combination of chicken and honey mustard dressing, so I used that as my inspiration for our abundance of lettuce in last week’s CSA box. Instead of chicken fingers, though, I opted to skip the breading and make grilled chicken instead (fresh, organic chicken from the farmers’ market!). Since I refuse to buy the thick, creamy (and not-so-healthy) honey mustard salad dressing from the store, I had to come up with a dressing on my own, as well. Instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing, I decided to use the honey mustard flavor as inspiration for a vinaigrette.
The dressing came together in just a few minutes while the chicken was on the grill. In addition to the lettuce, I tossed in some fresh snap peas, radishes, and carrots for a healthy and hearty salad. Both my hubby and I were happy to chow down on our salads for dinner… And, I was especially happy that there was considerably less lettuce in the fridge when we were done!
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
(Makes about 6 – 8 servings)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until the ingredients are well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.