Salad of mixed greens from Provence
Mesclun is the Provencal word for ‘mixture,’ and this salad is composed of a mix of tender greens. A traditional mesclun salad has at least seven varieties of greens chosen from among the following: chervil (cerfeuil), arugula (roquette), dandelion (pissenlit), chicory (chicorée), radicchio (trévise), curly endive (frisée), Boston lettuce (laitue), romaine, escarole (scarole), lamb’s lettuce (mâche), oak leaf lettuce (feuille de chêne), tarragon (estragon). Or other greens. The only one that is absolutely essential is the chervil.
Many markets in Paris sell mesclun that is already composed, and in France you can buy it in a packet at the supermarket. But it can also be fun to scout around for the right leaves and compose it yourself. At right, an assortment of leaves for mesclun (clockwise from far left: tarragon, oak leaf lettuce, red chard, curly endive, red leaf lettuce, arugula, loose leaf green lettuce, chervil). Or to grow them on your windowsill, or in your garden.
8 ounces (200 g.) mesclun (4 large handfuls)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. walnut oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash the greens and spin dry.
Mix the other ingredients together in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Set the greens on top and refrigerate.
Mix at the table when ready to serve. Serves 4 generously.