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Jul 13, 2009 04:21 AM

Top tips for Salads

Its promising to be a lovely warm british summer. Time to put away the bean pots and get out the salad spinners.
I'm trying to find new ideas to spruce up boring salads.
1. Cous Cous - instead of adding water, I usually add chicken stock, followed by diced cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, corriander.

2. Ever tried adding citrus to a salad? I haven't, but willing to try...what's the worst that can happen.

Any other suggestions?

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  1. I add grapefruit sections to a salad of endive, arugula and watercress. If you want to get fancy dress it with a raspberry/shallot vinaigrette.

    Citrus is indeed a wonderful addition to salad. If you don't know how to, learn the technique to "supreme" the citrus segments (by using your knife to remove the segments without any pith/membrane remaining.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shaogo

      FL, so guess what. Tons of citrus all the time in salad. From grapefruit and oranges to arugula, romaine, spinach, I also love using citrus dressings. Fresh juice or marmalades mixed with olive oil, garlic, shallots and fresh herbs. Tarragon and mint are great.

      I love cooking the citrus lightly in a saute pan with shallots and then adding a little honey and then adding it to fresh arugula. It is a great easy salad.

    2. I love apricots in my spinach salad, nuts too. I love a panzanella salad, there are so many versions but this one is my fav and it's piled on a big grilled port. mush cap:

      * Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling, plus 1/4 cup
      * 5 large portobello mushroom caps
      * 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, a couple of sprigs
      * Salt and pepper
      * 1 cup diced, stale chewy bread
      * 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
      * 2 ribs celery from the heart with green tops, very thinly sliced
      * 1/2 small onion, chopped
      * Couple handfuls flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped
      * 1 lemon, juiced
      * Small chunk Parmigiano Reggiano, to shave on salad


      Pre-heat grill pan over medium-high heat.

      Drizzle EVOO over 4 mushrooms and season with rosemary and salt and pepper. Grill 5 minutes on each side then remove from grill.

      While the portobellos cook, cut the remaining portobello into 4 thick slices then thinly slice each piece across. Mix the shaved fresh mushrooms with bread, tomatoes, celery, onion and parsley and dress the salad with the juice of 1 lemon and about 1/4 cup EVOO. Toss and season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste.

      Top grilled mushrooms with mounds of the salad and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

      I also been doing this grilled veg salad lately that's really good, even if you use lettuce as the base with grilled vegies around the sides.

      1. I like a few tiny bits of dried fruit in a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing. A few nuts add a nice textural difference, too. Edible blossoms add so much visual appeal that it almost doesn't matter what else the salad contains.

        1. Definitely yes to citrus! Besides the afore-mentioned grapefruit, oranges are lovely (mandarin or any variety). I like them in spinach salads, maybe a crisp crunchy romaine with a poppy seed dressing...

          Also very popular is strawberries with spinach and balsamic dressing. I had one at a restaurant a few weeksn ago that combined fresh juicy peaches with arugula - so good. Berries are a nice addition to many salads too.

          Grilled fruit is also good in salads - one in particular I like uses grilled pears (optional wrapped after grilling in proscuitto) on a bed of greens with hazlenuts and a white balsamic dressing.

          LOVE fruit in my salads!

          1. instead of stock, try lemon or orange juice for your cous-cous. i do that for barley as well.

            i like a salad of cucumbers, green grapes and mint, with a little fruity olive oil and black pepper.

            coarse bulgur with blueberries, yogurt, lemon juice and mint.

            barley with watercress, tomatoes, chopped almonds, feta and olives.

            lentils with carrots, jalapeno peppers, lime juice, bacon, loads of chopped parsley and chopped tomatoes.

            if i've got a lot of leafy greens, i like chopping up fresh herbs in there too, especially mint and basil.