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Simple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


2 bags ready to use mesclun greens
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, halved and thinly sliced
Toss the greens, salt and pepper together with just enough vinaigrette to coat, about 1/2 cup. Place them in a decorative bowl and top with the grape tomatoes and bell pepper. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup olive oil
Put the shallot and basil into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the shallot is finely chopped. Add the balsamic, sugar, salt and pepper and pulse again. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Pour the vinaigrette into a small bowl and serve.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

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