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Bonnie’s Best Salad

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Our friend Bonnie Sweat is known for her great salads — and she says that when she's invited to someone's house for dinner, this is the salad she's almost always asked to bring.

We love the crunchiness of the romaine mixed with the soft, peppery taste of arugula and the clean, bright flavor of parsley. Tossed with a lemony shallot dressing and crunchy croutons, topped with creamy avocado and zesty Parmesan cheese, it’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures for a light, fresh salad. If cherry tomatoes aren't at their peak, substitute sun-dried tomatoes, which are packed with flavor.

Croutons add great flavor and crunch to salads, and Bonnie’s buttery, garlic-infused croutons are easy to make. This recipe makes more than are needed for her salad, but we suspect having extra on hand won't prove to be a problem — they're terrific as a topping for soups and other salads. If you’d rather keep it simple, sub in your favorite brand of croutons from the store instead.

From The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman


For Today’s Step, make this salad for your family — or your favorite friends — and then tell us what you think by reviewing the recipe online or posting in Comments below.

  • Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves Earthbound Farm Organic Garlic (peeled and finely minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 1 loaf French batarde or other crusty rustic country bread, such as ciabatta, boule or pain de campagne (crusts removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes – about 6 cups)
  • 2/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Shallots (finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove Earthbound Farm Organic Garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon Lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • SALAD:
  • 6 cups Thinly sliced Earthbound Farm Organic Romaine (2 hearts, rinsed and dried if not prewashed)
  • 4 cups Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Arugula
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Earthbound Farm Organic Italian Parsley
  • 3/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Halved Earthbound Farm Organic Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 large Earthbound Farm Organic Avocado (pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • Directions

  • Bonnie's homemade croutons are wonderful, but if you'd like to keep it simple, the salad will still be delicious if you substitute your favorite brand of croutons from the store. If you're making the croutons, start with them; position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. 
  • Combine the butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon-pepper seasoning and cayenne in a small saucepan, and cook over very low heat until the butter melts and the mixture is warm, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour the butter mixture over them and toss to coat all the surfaces.
  • Transfer the bread cubes to a rimmed baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake the croutons until golden, checking occasionally to make sure that they don’t burn, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (If you’re not serving the croutons immediately, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.)
  • To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a glass jar, seal the lid tightly, and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside. (The dressing can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days. Let it return to room temperature and shake vigorously before using.)
  • To assemble the salad, place the romaine, arugula, and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and toss again.
  • Add some of the Lemon-Shallot Dressing and toss to coat the greens. Taste, and add more as needed. Transfer the salad to a large platter and top with the tomatoes, avocados and about 2 cups of croutons (homemade from Bonnie’s recipe, or your favorite brand from the store). Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Get a printer-friendly version of the Bonnie’s Best Salad recipe
Get a printer-friendly version of the Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette recipe
Get a printer-friendly version of the Bonnie’s Garlicky Croutons recipe

More delicious salads await! We’ve got salads and dressings for just about every appetite in our Recipe Center — check them out!

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