Synergy Salad

Synergy salad. Photo by Keri White

Synergy is defined as “the interaction of two or more substances to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” (Thank you, Oxford Dictionary.) This salad is the culinary version of this concept.

Last week, we had returned from a trip to the West Coast, and I did a quick visit to the store for some minimal basics as we battled jet lag and tried to recover from the red-eye. Dinner meant an omelet and a salad, but I had not done a great job provisioning beyond lettuce and avocado.

I foraged the pantry, found a can of white beans and looked out the window for inspiration, as my eyes fell on the potted mint plant that was thriving on my garden wall. Eureka!

These four simple elements, simply dressed with a red wine vinaigrette, provided a salad that, while it didn’t cure our jet lag, revived us somewhat.

Synergy Salad
Serves 2

I used Boston lettuce, but any mild-tasting green works — I would avoid arugula because it will compete with the mint, but butter, romaine, red or green leaf  would all be excellent here.

As for the beans, I used Great Northern, but chickpeas, navy beans, white beans, cannellini beans, really any variety, would be just fine.

The salad:
1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-sized pieces
⅔ cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1 ripe avocado, cut in chunks
Scant handful of fresh mint leaves, approximately ⅓ cup, chopped into ribbons

The dressing:
¼ teaspoon salt
Generous grinding fresh cracked pepper
Sprinkle of garlic powder
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in bowl. Sprinkle the dressing ingredients evenly over salad and toss well. Serve immediately.


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