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Try Chef Claire Criscuolo’s Simple Vinaigrette On Your Next Salad

If you are undecided on your next meal and have trouble deciding if you want breakfast, a sandwich, or even have a craving for Mexican food, it’s time to pay a visit to Claire’s Corner Copia located Downtown. Owner Claire Criscuolo opened the restaurant, over 46 years ago, with her beloved late husband, Frank.  Claire has been feeding the residents of New Haven delicious vegetarian fare before vegan, gluten-free eats were in the zeitgeist.

Growing up, Claire found inspiration in her mother’s kitchen, whipping up dishes alongside her mother and grandmother. Her mother had a pension for fresh, homemade foods loaded with fruits and vegetables. While learning the ins and outs of the kitchen and how to crack an egg with one hand, Claire developed some culinary mantras – “Eat this, it’s good for you,” “Never cheat your stomach,” and “We don’t eat foods with ingredients I can’t pronounce.”

“I love cooking soups and dressings, composing a salad, making a pie, a sauce, a stir fry – really, I love the entire process,” says Claire, “even the cleanup.”

In 1975, Claire took that mantra straight to the bank when she opened Claire’s Corner Copia, where she serves up fresh soups and salads made from the freshest ingredients. If you want to turn your kitchen into a Corner Copia, Claire’s got a simple place to start – salad dressing.

“This is my mom’s dressing for our nightly salad.” Chef Claire Crisuolo shared with us this month.

“Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over your greens, toss lightly. Squeeze the juice of a lemon evenly over the top of the salad – I use my hands to catch the seeds– and toss to coat. Add sea salt and fresh grated black pepper evenly on top and toss again. Taste and enjoy!”

If you want more flavor where that came from, well you’ll have to go straight to the source. Visit Claire’s Corner Copia on your next lunch break and indulge in good ingredients for a better world. In Claire’s words, New Haven is home to “the best and most interesting culinary scene in Connecticut.”

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