Spring Greens with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 8 – 10 as a starter.

1 head green leaf lettuce
1 head red leaf lettuce
¼ pound baby spinach
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, picked from the stem
¼ cup small basil leaves, picked from the stem
2 tablespoons tarragon or chervil leaves, picked from the stem
3-4 tablespoons sherry-thyme vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off the base of the lettuces and separate the leaves.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and submerge the lettuces into the water. Work in small batches and make sure there is plenty of room in the bowl for the dirt particles to fall to the bottom of the basin.

Using a salad spinner, drain the lettuces and spin until they are very dry. Repeat with the remaining lettuces and spinach, making sure to change the water between batches.

Wash and dry the cilantro, basil and tarragon leaves. The leaves should separate from one another if they are dry enough.

Break up the lettuces into bite size pieces and place in a bowl large enough to toss all the ingredients. Add the spinach, herb leaves and toss the salad with 3-4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Use just enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuces and not make it too wet.

Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper and serve.

Sherry-Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon thyme, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest

½–1 teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¾-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Place shallots, thyme, tarragon, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon sugar, vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk to mix.

Gradually whisk in the olive oil starting with ¾ cup and adding more if the vinaigrette is acidic.

Add salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Taste and add more sugar to balance the acidity if necessary.