As a general point, I hate salads. Why? Because I'm really picky and I feel that most salads blow. Sorry, salads of the world, but the truth will out.

BUT, there are some salads that I LOVE. Why do I love them? Because I make them for myself. Nothing beats a custom made salad to my very own taste buds.

I was inspired to make this salad after a friend of mine made an amazing salad for a party at the beginning of the summer. Her salad had a creamy herb dressing and included fresh cut radishes over baby greens which went great with the grilled pizza we had. But a few weekends ago I was making mac and cheese with The Boyfriend, and I wanted a light refreshing salad to balance the heavy cheese, bread crumbs and pasta. What I came up with is this: my newest, awesome-est VERDANT SALAD. It's so green it makes Kermit look yellow.

RECIPE for VERDANT SALAD:

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard (go for strong flavor)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons real maple syrup (not sugar water crap)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt

Mix ingredients in the order listed above, use a whisk or fork to ensure mustard gets evenly mixed (no weird chunks!) and the vinaigrette is smooth.

Salad Ingredients:

1 box/large bag of baby spinach
1 ripe avocado
1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly on a sharp angle with the skin, then halved
2 ears of sweet corn, oven-roasted (instructions below)
Lemon, for juice
Lime, for juice

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Trim off the silky threads from the top of the corn (otherwise this will burn in the oven and make your entire kitchen smell awful). Put both ears on corn on a baking sheet (or directly on the oven shelf) and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outer husk is brownish. Pull out and let cool. Peel back the husk, being careful to remove all the silk strands (or resign yourself to getting that stuff stuck in your teeth while eating the salad). Using the peeled back husk as a handle, use a knife to shave off the kernels into a bowl.

2. Wash and dry the spinach.

3. Halve the avocado and cut into small slices. Add to the bowl with spinach, toss with fresh lemon and lime juice. (Remember to save a little lemon juice for the dressing).

4. Add cucumber and corn, add dressing, toss and serve.

I love this salad for its greenness and its freshness. Very addictive! This recipe serves 3-4 people, or just me.

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