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Sandra "Cookieface" Antonelli's Zingy Herb Salad

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Vanilla, Meet Salad

When most people hear the word salad, they often think lettuce leaves, the occasional tomato and onion sprinkled here and there, and some kind of dressing. Not very imaginative, and frankly a little bland in the way vanilla is bland, safe.

But hang on a second. If we look at the word vanilla for a moment, we’ll see that people have misconstrued the meaning into something that connotes conventional, middle of the road, or of ordinary sexual preferences. In other words, vanilla is boring, as boring as lettuce leaves tossed with a few cherry tomatoes, as boring as the missionary position.

Or is it? The true etymology of vanilla is derived from the Spanish name for the spice, vainilla, which is the diminutive of vina, sheath, or vagina.

So tell me, are vaginas boring?

I didn’t think you’d say they were.

So guess what? Salads aren’t boring either. Salads can be as exciting and wonderful as a vagina, especially when you experiment with other greens besides your basic garden-variety head of lettuce. This salad is especially daring, even though it does not contain vanilla or vagina.

Zingy Herb Salad

¼ cup white wine vinegar*

2 tsp Dijon mustard  (or grain mustard if you’re really adventurous)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt, or more for taste

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toss together:

1 bunch (60 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley, de-stemmed, rinsed, and dried

1 bunch (60 g) fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and torn

1 bunch (60 g) fresh rocket (AKA arugula, kids), rinsed, dried

1 bunch (60 g) fresh tarragon leaves, de-stemmed, rinsed, and dried

1 bunch (60 g) fresh mint, stemmed, rinsed, dried, leaves separated

1 bunch (60 g) fresh coriander (AKA cilantro), rinsed, dried, leaves separated

Combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Gradually add the olive oil until the dressing is smooth and creamy.  Drizzle over salad. Add more salt & pepper to taste.

Share with your lover.

*This salad also does well with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.