For the past 23 years, I've been making a salad in the bowl pictured above at least three nights a week. The bowl has never been washed, has a crack down the side and on the bottom has burn marks from one night when I accidentally left it on a hot stove top. If my house were burning down, this bowl would be the only thing I would grab from the kitchen. The recipe below is written especially for my dear friend, Marianne.
In the bottom of a wooden bowl, smash garlic until broken down into little bits. Sprinkle salt on top. According to a study done about ten years ago, if you let the garlic and salt sit for up to 15 minutes an enzyme breaks down which increases the health benefits. But really I just think it tastes better if the garlic sits, mellows out and sweats a little after you salt it.
Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. With your serving spoon swirl the garlic, salt, olive oil and balsamic together until well mixed. At this point, sometimes I let it sit for up to an hour or more until I am ready to toss in a few handfuls of lettuce.
Toppings? Most of the time I forget, but when I do remember I add hemp seeds (I'm in Colorado after all), sliced almonds, walnuts and/or avocado. What I never add is fruit. I know, I know, I know...my family is annoyed about it, too. For the record, I also hate fruit in my chocolate.