Fresh mesclun salad with lemon-maple vinaigrette; photo by Robin Catalano.
Fresh mesclun salad with lemon-maple vinaigrette; photo by Robin Catalano.

Eating My Feelings: Fresh Local Mesclun Salad with Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette

What we're eating in the time of COVID-19

If we keep cooking like the warm weather is on the way, maybe we can make it so the power of our collective palate; photo by Robin Catalano.

Fresh Local Mesclun Salad with Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette

Yes, this is “just” a salad. But right now, with spring not in any rush to warm up, local greens are one of those necessities that taste like a luxury. There are two keys to making this salad work: farm-fresh greens, with their promise of sunny summer lunches enjoyed on the back porch, and a simple citrusy vinaigrette that makes every salad taste better.


  • I’m not kidding about the fresh local greens; they really make this recipe. I get mine from the Berry Patch in Stephentown, which grows greens year round.
  • Grocery-store tomatoes are generally a mealy, flavorless tragedy, but if you can find a decent-looking pint of cherry tomatoes, grab it.
  • Add any other vegetables you like in your salad. For the one pictured here, I included sliced carrots and beets. (Canned versions of the latter will do if the produce section has been cleaned out again.)

Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette


1 large lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Add all ingredients to a clean jar or plastic container with an airtight lid. Shake vigorously to combine. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if desired.

Beverage suggestion: Unsweetened iced tea

Robin Catalano

Robin Catalano believes in the power of storytelling to connect communities and cultures. She’s applied her creative approach to writing for magazines, books, blogs, websites, and a wide variety of marketing projects, and has published more than 75 articles and 1,000+ blog posts. As an editor, she has worked on more than 350 books for publishers including Penguin Random House, Workman, and Simon & Schuster. She has also served as a book coach for independent authors, helping them take their ideas from concept to print. An avid traveler and travel writer, Robin lives, reads, and writes voraciously in upstate NY.

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