Mesclun salad is a speciality of Nice in the south of France and at one time it was only found in Nice. However, today it is found in most places and accompanies an assortment of dishes in good restaurants.
It consists of a mixture of young shoots, harvested especially for their delicate flavour such as rocket, watercress, dandelion leaves and oak leaf lettuce. The inhabitants of Nice used to pick their own fresh herbs and plants for this salad and indeed some still do to this day. You too can pick your own especially dandelion leaves when they are young but do make sure that no weed killers have been sprayed on the area!
If you choose this salad in a restaurant these days it is one of the most expensive of salads. It is often included as part of the Hors d'oeuvres.
Any combination of fresh young salad leaves such as:
• 1 handful of watercress
• 1 handful of rocket
• 1 handful of parsley
• 1 handful of dandelion leaves
• 1 handful sorrel
• 1 handful oak leaf lettuce
• 1 garlic clove
Wash your fresh salad leaves in cold water and dry them.
Rub the garlic clove around the bowl.
Arrange in a salad bowl.
Toss in a light vinaigrette dressing just before serving.
It is delicious served with a few slivers of parmesan cheese or pine nuts, walnuts, black olives and if you are lucky enough to purchase some truffles these would be a fabulous addition.