Creative With Salads
get creative with salads! Todays salads have literally burst
out of the confines of the plain green salad tossed with dressing
and include salads made with fruit, nuts, meats, cheeses, vegetables,
fish, poultry, pasta and a plethora of other interesting ingredients.
Weve chosen four distinctly different and delightful salads
for this months class:
coming of Spring stimulates our memory of fresh, crisp greens
adorned with succulent melons, crunchy toasted nuts or the snap
of garden fresh vegetables. With all the possible combinations
for salad making, it is important to apply some restraint. Ingredients
should be chosen for their unique flavor or texture and their
ability to compliment other flavors. Be careful not to lessen
the overall effect by adding too many different ingredients to
the same salad. Experiment with a few different flavors, the sweetness
of caramelized pecans with apple or orange slices or the saltiness
of sautéed Pancetta with a tart cheese.
Difference between Greens
differ greatly in taste, texture and color. Some of the more common
most important tools you will need in the preparation of a green
salad are a Salad Spinner and a Salad Bowl. A Food Processor is
also a great tool for making quick work out of otherwise tedious
tasks like chopping cabbage. If you need to purchase these or
any kitchen tools, visit the Glutenfreeda shopping mall. You will
find virtually every kitchen item available through our affiliate,
freshest ingredients always make the freshest salads. Take care
to buy crisp, greens without spots or wilting. At home, remove
the wire ties and clean your greens by washing them gently with
cold water, or filling a sink or large bowl with cold water and
swishing them around until clean. The next very important step
is to properly dry your greens. Proper drying will keep your greens
crisp for a longer period of time.
you have washed your greens and removed all dirt, place the greens
in a salad spinner until it is half full. Over filling your spinner
will compromise its ability to dry properly. Spin the greens.
The greens will be crisp and firm and ready for use.
you are ready to prepare your green salad, tear the leaves gently
into bite size pieces. It is difficult and unattractive to try
and eat greens that are much too large for a normal size bite.
sure many of us have heard the kitchen secret regarding seasoned
salad bowls. "A well-seasoned bowl should never be washed
with soap and water, it would somehow destroy the bowls special
oils or natural flavor." We have always washed our salad
bowls with soap and water and believe that it does nothing to
compromise a salads flavor and serves to eliminate potential
health risks associated with lingering bacteria. Glass or ceramic
salad bowls are perfectly fine as well.
you are serving your salad the same day as you have washed and
dried your greens, you can store them in your salad bowl in the
refrigerator until you are ready to prepare your salad. Place
damp paper towels in the bottom of your salad bowl, add the greens
and top with more damp paper towels. Seal the bowl with plastic
preparation of many vegetables (chopping, sliceing or shreddeding)can
be accomplished in a fraction of the time it takes to chop with
a knife. Because of the risk of bruising some vegetables, we only
recommend using a food processor for certain harder vegetables
or cabbage. Do not attempt to chop tomatoes or fruit, as they
will be bruised. Most vegetables for salad preparation should
be cut carefully with a knife. We used a Food Processor to slice
the cabbage used in our Texas
be afraid of experimenting with different and interesting ingredients.
Our Cantaloupe with Prosciutto
Salad mixes the sweet juicy flavor of cantaloupe with
the salty taste of prosciutto. Our Texas
Cobb Salad combines several vegetables, tomatoes, onion,
jicama, green bell pepper, corn, avocado, even black beans to
produce an overall Latin taste.
ingredients can be toasted, sautéed or grilled to produce
a nuttier taste or to cook poultry, fish or meats before adding
to the salad. To make our Field
Greens with Pancetta Salad, we toasted the pine nuts and
sautéed the pancetta to render the fat and make it crisp.
adding ingredients, be sure to keep the pieces uniform in size.
This not only makes your salad easier to eat, it also evens out
we prefer to add garnishes to a salad at the last minute before
serving, just after it has been tossed with the dressing. If you
are making a green salad, this allows the garnish to cling better
to the greens.
favorite methods of adding the flavor of garlic to a green salad
is to cut a garlic clove in half and rub the insides of your salad
bowl with the cut garlic and then discard the garlic; or cut a
garlic clove in half, (half is usually enough for one salad),
and mince the half clove then sprinkle with salt. With the flat
side of your knife, press the garlic and salt until it is combined.
This will mellow the flavor of garlic. You can add the garlic/salt
mix to your dressing for a more subtle garlic flavor.
Hearts: Marinated in gf vinegar, whole or pieces
Meats: Cooked or sautéed
Fruits Raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries
Hard boiled and chopped or shredded
Fruit: Orange, Grapefruit, peel and pith removed; mangos,
Herbs: Torn, whole, or gently sliced
and Seeds: Toasted in a dry skillet until they release their
vertically and added to individual plates
Croutons: See our recipe in our November 2000 issue
shredded, grated or julienne cut into bite size pieces
are made from a combination of oil and acid. Acids are not only
vinegars but also citrus juices. Because of the large variety
of oils and vinegars available today, the variety in flavor combinations
for a vinaigrette is endless.
very simple and perfect every time formula for oil
and acid is 3 to 1. 3 oils to 1 acid. You can use this ratio for
any oil or acid, including citrus juices.
make a vinaigrette: Whisk together your acid and whatever seasonings
you choose to use in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking
constantly, until the dressing thickens. You can also add the
vinegar or citrus juice and your seasonings to a small jar with
a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously. Add the oil in three
or four additions, shaking between additions. The third way is
to add the vinegar or citrus to a blender or food processor and
blend, then add the oil in a slow stream until blended and thickened.
You can store vinaigrette for up to 2 weeks covered in the refrigerator.
Always shake well before using.
with different oils and vinegars. You will find there are great
differences in the effects different types will have on your dressing.
of Vinegars that are great on salads:
was gathered from the following sources:
All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking", Irma S. Rombauer, Marion
Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, Copyright 1997.
may purchase the
Joy of Cooking on Amazon.com .
It is a wonderful cookbook, with an abundance of information.
It even has a few gluten-free recipes!