I'm completely addicted to green salad. Even the most humble, basic one, with a few added herbs, can be a treat if dressed properly. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the standard of its green salad - so many places get it wrong, but when they get it right, it's perfection. Although a great one doesn't need any extras, you can always toss in simple treasures such as cooked green beans, sweet raw peas, edible flowers, shaved fennel, or fresh mint, parsley, basil or tarragon leaves if you like. Great stuff.
So, to make the salad, get yourself a round lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb, and remove each leaf from the core. Wash them in plenty of cold water. Spin dry or blot with paper towels and pile them into a bowl. Make a basic dressing by mixing together 3 parts extra-virgin olive oil, 1 part lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the leaves and use the tips of your fingers to gently mix the salad together. Be careful not to overdress it, though, or your leaves will go limp! That's it, your basic green salad.
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Recipe Excerpted from JAMIE AT HOME by Jamie Oliver. Copyright (c) 2008. Published in the U.S. by Hyperion. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold. www.jamieoliver.com