Farmhouse Obsession

With sweet corn and tomatoes accented by a lemon-basil dressing, this salad is just the sort of thing you might throw together after a trip to the farm stand. Kristin Vrana adds her own spin and comes up with a satisfying dinner salad.

Let me just start with…  I was pumped that I was able to use my basil plant for the second time in two weeks!  I set out the dressing ingredients for their photo opp and imagined how my meal would taste.

Basil Lime Vinaigrette

Juice of 2 limes

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped basil

¾ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

The taste image was surprisingly difficult, especially after subbing honey with agave nectar.  But I decided to stop thinking, start chopping, and finish mixing.  It was that easy.

I tossed in all the ingredients, took my first impatient sample, and had a little ‘wow’ moment.  You won’t find a Leaguer around that doesn’t swear by these recipes, but geesh!  This was my third recipe trial and I’m pleased to report that they just keep getting better.  I poured the dressing in a Good Seasonings carafe I had lying around (embarrassing possession) and let it chill in the fridge while I moved on to the next step – salad ingredient photo opp.

While thinking for the gazillionth time that I should be sponsored by Publix, I decided to toss an avocado into the mix.  I had also previously decided to follow the recipe’s entrée option and add shrimp – frozen, shelled and deveined shrimp.  It’s a proven fact that deveining your own shrimp is a sure way to kill your dinner appetite.  And, if you’re as easily grossed out as I am, it’s possible that deveining will kill your shrimp cravings for a length that can be measured in years.  True story.


1 head romaine, rinsed and torn

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

½ cup shaved red onion

½ cup fresh or thawed frozen whole kernel corn

1 cup grape tomatoes cut into halves

I sprayed a pan with a teeny bit of olive oil and cooked the shrimp.  They still managed to stick, but I didn’t mind.

When they were through cooking, I placed them on a paper towel and stuck them in the freezer to rapidly cool.

The delish dressing and perfectly coiled shrimp were huge incentives to prepare the rest of the salad as fast as humanly possible.

I combined the remaining ingredients and poured the chilled dressing.  That salad, with slight assistance from the adorable fish dish, could possibly be the prettiest dinner ever created in my kitchen.  The fish dish even came in handy for discarded tails!

My final Farmhouse Salad review?  A salad is only as good as its dressing, and this dressing…  I’m obsessed.


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