I’m having a friend over for dinner tonight and I’m making a chili-rubbed pork tenderloin with a corn salsa and sweet potato fries. I think a big bowl of salad might needed but I have no idea what to put in it. Any ideas? I usually make pretty lame salads. Only restrictions are no nuts and no bell peppers. Thanks!
This might not work with your dish tonight but lately I have been asked to bring salad to pot lucks and I wanted to take it to the "next level" LOL. This has been a big hit.
4 T. each both olive oil and vegetable oil
1.5 T each both red wine and balsamic vinagar
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 T basil paste concentrated or 1 cup basil leaves chopped up
Mix all together. If using fresh leaves, crush and mix well into dressing to get the oil essences
Salad I use any type of leaf lettuce and add chopped mozerella/provelone/swiss as well as crumble some feta cheese. Additionally I add shredded (by hand) procuitto (Italian cured ham) Make sure to remove any fat first.
I also add chopped almonds I roasted beforehand but obviously for your purposes you can omit this.
Alternatively if I want to make a quick salad and serve it french style I do basic salad with dressing and add goat cheese (my best results are cut into circular discs, dipped in egg and breadcrumb and flash grilled with olive oil in frypan...can be made ahead and reheated in toaster oven)
My brain also went to avacado and lime with this dinner. A great salad can be pretty simple, but not necessarily lame. You could try individual arranged salads, like a bed of chopped Romaine lettice, for the crunch. Top with some sliced avacado, add a few halved cherry or grape tomatoes, some chopped scallions, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and lime vingerette or just fresh squeezed lime juice and a few drops of good olive oil. A few sprigs of cilantro.
I make a salad with baby spinach, diced mango and candied pecans. Obviously you can leave out the nuts. The dressing is just olive oil and balsamic vinegar, about 3 to 1 ration with a dash of salt and pepper. You could add. You could add some sliced red onion in place of the nuts.
This is STUNNING with pork. It's from Tyler Florence:
TYLER’S FALL SALAD FOR 4
Candied pecans: (I actually skipped this and added pecans toasted in a dry skillet to the salad. They were great.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup raw pecans
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons maple syrup (I used sugar free and you'd never know.He called for more, but this was the right amount for my taste. Keep tasting and see.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head endive, separated leaves
2 hearts frisee, hand torn
1 red pear, sliced
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes in the skillet. Only then transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper.
Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify. Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. (I didn’t. I just combined all ingredients in a jar and shook.)
Assemble salad by tossing greens and pear slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing. Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.