For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (substitute: Omega 3&6 flax oil, available in the Wal-Mart pharmacy area)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ripe plum tomato, diced
Fresh basil (approximately 6-7 leaves), or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 ripe avocado (optional)
1/2 cup vegan Parmesan grated cheese
1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. Combine in a blender oil, water, lemon juice, tomato, basil, and avocado (if using it). Blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and blend for 30 seconds.
For the salad:
1 large bunch arugula, washed, stems removed, and dry, or 1 4-ounce package arugula
1 large bunch endive, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small head red-leaf lettuce
1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2 red-skin apples, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup slivered, toasted, blanched almonds or walnuts or dried cranberries
1. Place the arugula, endive, red-leaf lettuce, and red bell pepper in a large bowl and toss.
2. Divide among 6 chilled salad plates and top with the apple slices and your preference of nuts or dried cranberries.
3. Drizzle with salad dressing when ready to serve.
Chef Vic Scalzo, a native of Cerva, Italy, specializes in vegetarian and Italian homemade recipes and is owner of Specialty Catering in Maryland. His wife, Dee, is his assistant and food designer. These are recipes that Chef Vic is proudest of. Happy Valentine's dining!