Monday, July 2, 2012

Salad--How To Build A Great Salad

It's salad season (as I have been nicely reminded by an acquaintance to whom I promised this recipe A YEAR ago--this blog is good because it is making me actually write these things down) and lettuce is available at the farmers' market. These are basic guidelines for making a great salad but they are anything but comprehensive. Salads are very forgiving so try something interesting, just try to remember to balance flavor points (salty, sweet, tart, etc.).

1 handful of mixed greens per eater
2 Tbsp to ¼ cup chopped/julienned/sliced fruit or vegetable per eater
1 Tbsp toasted, chopped nuts per eater OR ¼ cup croutons
1-3 Tbsp grated or crumbled cheese per eater
1 Tbsp olive oil per eater
2 tsp vinegar or 2 Tbsp acidic fruit juice per eater
1 small clove garlic per eater, pressed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the fruit or vegetable, nuts or croutons, and cheese in the bottom of your salad bowl of choice. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar to emulsify. Pour the vinaigrette down the sides of the salad bowl and toss to distribute the vinaigrette evenly. Season the salad with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Artisan salts are very nice on green salads because they provide another point of flavor intensity and textural interest.

Some good combinations:
Dried apricots, chopped toasted almonds, crumbled blue cheese
Apples, toasted chopped walnuts or croutons, shredded aged cheddar
Julienned carrots, julienned cucumber, chopped olives, croutons, feta cheese

VEGAN NOTES:  Use additional nuts, perhaps even a variety of nuts, in lieu of the cheese. Do toast the nuts.

© Katherine C. Otterstrom, July 2012

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