Need fancy pants salad
Sunday is the annual "girls" Christmas party. The hostess this year is making short ribs & mashed potatoes & we are all bringing something. I am bringing the salad and since that is the only dish I have to make, I would like it to be something special. What is your best fancy pants impressive salad? I have one that has macadamia crusted goat cheese that is fried & put on top that is really good. I'm not sure I want to be in the way in the kitchen frying goat cheese. Ideas?
Not for nothin', fancy CAN be simple...salad caprese...alternate sliced tomatoes (GOOD ones), fresh mozzarella, large basil leaves...drizzle with good olive oi/balsamic, black olives, maybe some diced red onion...the juice that it makes alone is worth a loaf of good bread to dip in...
this is simple, but always a hit when I've made it for dinner parties and potlucks.
Bunch of Kale, torn into bite size pieces
Caramelize 2 red onions for every 6 people (depending on how much you like onions). Season with salt/pepper
If you can reheat the onions at the party, that would be the best, cause then you toss the warm onions with balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper and then toss over the kale. the warm onions wilt the kale ever so slightly.
Add crumbled goat cheese to the top and devour.
You could do either a classic Nicoise or a Cobb. Both can be found in a number of cookbooks.
Both are definitely 'fancy' and will impress and will go nicely with ribs & mash. Neither are difficult to put together, expensive or require hard to find ingredients.
Recipes in many cookbooks or on line or under 'recipe index' on my blog.
I like roasted green beans (chopped small), arugula and another bitter green (like the radicchio idea for some red, or red tinged endive), toasted nuts of some kind (I like pecans), grated apple and grated celery root (won't turn brown if you put them in the dressing). Dressing is walnut or other nut oil cut with another less intense oil if you prefer, mustard, vinegar. I like to put blue cheese on top but you don't want cheese, sounds like, so I vote for pomegranate seeds. You could also use pom juice and/or pom molasses in the dressing.
Romaine lettuce (iceberg has no appreciable nutrients)
Roasted red bell pepper (charred skin removed is a given)
Chopped stuffed green olives
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
A little sugar to cut the tartness of the radicchio and vinegar.
Cubes of cheese to be added by each individual diner.
Forget tomatoes this time of year...They usually are tasteless, especially if they are hydroponically grown.
I usually add some intensely incendiary hot peppers if I am making this for myself. You may try some store bought peperoncini on the side for those people who can tolerate some mild heat.
Buona appetito e mangia bene!
I agree w/ Gretchen S about bitter greens. I like this roasted caulifower radicchio salad, though rarely keep to it exactly as it. I like the cauliflower as a more substantial vegetable than just salad greens and the hazelnuts are a nice touch.
Can it be fancy pants in a subtle, elegant way or does it have to really scream? If the former, this radicchio and arugula salad is both festive and beautiful: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
It's also incredibly easy. Don't make this if you don't like dates because their flavor really complements the bitter radicchio, but you absolutely should use halloumi instead of feta if you can get it. Even people who don't normally eat radicchio like this salad.
For me, the rich short ribs and mashed potatoes really call for a salad with bitter greens and no cheese, to bring some contrast. This arugula, radicchio and ruby grapefruit salad seems like just the thing and it is a huge hit when I bring it to parties. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ar... I use pomegranate molasses instead of honey, and I often use pine nuts instead of almonds because I tend to have them arouind. I also sometimes add butter lettuce or mache if I want to tone it down a bit.
Hi there, Boy, do I have one for you. It is gorgeous. Here we go:
What you need:
Fresh Beets, Thyme, Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Pancetta, Ripe tomatoes (if you cannot find ripe leave them out), Fennel, Goats cheese (soft and hard), Arugula, Dijon, Lemons, Parsley.
Roast small, quartered fresh beets with olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper until caramelized. In the mean time, slice some pancetta into half inch cubes and pan-fry until crispy (but not overly so). Place aside on a paper towel once done. Slice some heirloom or other very ripe tomatoes into the same size pieces as the beets. For the dressing, a simple, very good olive oil, some lemon juice, salt and pepper with a touch of Dijon. Shake in a jar and place aside. Shave fennel with a mandolin or slice very thinly by hand.
On a platter, first layer the arugula, then the fennel, then shave the dry goats cheese on top, then the tomatoes, then the beets, then break the soft goats cheese on top, then finish off with the pancetta, the dressing and some fresh parsley on top.
If you try it and have time, let me know the feedback :).
Happy eating, Oana
I posted this elsewhere, in a discussion about Thanksgiving sides. It's easy, tasty and can be prepared ahead of time. It's a Pear Salad from Nick Stellino's Mediterranean Flavors cookbook.
Toss peeled and cored pear slices with honey, melted butter and cinnamon then roast in a 500 degree oven about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Coat the roasted pear slices with a dry sherry vinaigrette dressing. Serve over baby salad greens and top with toasted walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese and prosciutto cut into matchsticks.
You can roast the pears and combine with the vinaigrette the day before and remove from the fridge 2-3 hours before dinner on the day to come back to room temp. I've since made this with apples instead of pears and liked the way the apples kept their shape better than pears generally do.
Best mix of greens you can find, topped with:
Thin rings of pickled shallots
Glazed pecan halves
Caramelized seckel pear halves stuffed with gorgonzola dolce
Tiny dice of roasted beets and roasted butternut squash sprinkled on top like confetti
(Incidentally, I'd let anyone get in my way with nut-crusted goat cheese. YUM. :)