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Violet Salad

lauren liess' violet salad
This fresh spring salad makes for a beautiful first course. I love picking edible wild violets to make our meals prettier and the kids have so much fun “eating flowers.”


  • 1/4-1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • lettuce
  • violets


  • Start by making my Nonno’s Salata dressing: Thinly slice the onion and drop in a salad bowl.
  • Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the onions.
  • Drizzle a much smaller proportion  of balsamic vinegar over the mixture. (Just a few drops!)
  • Season with salt and pepper and muddle the onions in the mixture. A fork works but a pestle is even better.
  • The onions are ready when they get brown from the balsamic vinegar/ oil mixture. The secret here is letting the dressing sit… the longer it sits, the better it gets.  Give it at least three minutes.
  • Toss in lettuce and here’s where it’s a little different… KEEP tossing so the lettuce really soaks up the dressing. My Nonno would say “You gotta turrrrrn it” at least thirty two times. This can beat up the lettuce a bit but it’s worth it.
  • Sprinkle violet blossoms on top of the salad and serve.



If you want this salad to look pretty for a buffet style party, either leave the dressing on the side or drizzle it over the salad without “turrrrrning it” and have your guests do the tossing on their own plates.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Playlists: Folksy Upbeat, Celtic, Feel It Mix


Sometimes Dave and I feed the kids early and then have a little date just the two of us at the open dining room window. The other night was one of those early spring nights when the warm breezes are just beginning and you feel like winter’s getting blown away little by little.  When I get one of these nights, I just crave that warm weather and the green hardcore and I call it “letting spring in my heart.”  Once that floodgate is open, I’m 100% yearning for spring and officially OVER winter. 

We foraged for violets- which we have aplenty in our yard…

…and sprinkled them over a spring mix with my Nonno’s salata dressing. We served it with leftover chicken piccata:


We also set little violets arrangements around the house.  One of the humblest little flowers, violets won’t be overlooked, and when brought inside and elevated in a special vase (or in our case, silver creamer) they make the sweetest “spring” statement!


We lit some candles and attempted some alone time but were quickly joined by little people on our laps.  Lol But I guess that’s okay too. I’m sure I’ll miss it one day sooner than I think.

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