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Salads - What Combinations are You Using These Days?

The sky is the limit here...so many wonderful ideas. Do you like to throw in anything you can find to make a salad or do you like to build something specific that you like to plate for yourself?

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  1. depends. If I am shopping with a salad in mind, then I buy endives, rocket, gorgonzola, asparagus, red onion, heirloom tomatoes, and apples (whatever is crisp/tart atm). I make a lemon/olive oil (half and half) dressing with lots of cracked pepper and some sea salt. If i'm at a salad bar.... spring mix, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, shredded carrots, red peppers, soft tofu, ceci, and a balsamic dressing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kubasd

      I think I would like some roast chicken tossed on your salads. The lemon & olive oil sounds just perfect! Thanks.

    2. I generally compose a salad. I've been eating a lot of cubed roasted beets with clementine, any toasted nuts, some crumbled chevre, and sherry or Champagne vinaigrette. Sometimes I go all crazy and add some finely shredded tamed red or white onion. Another winter salad is romaine with supremes of orange and cracked green garlic olives, with an olive vinaigrette. If I can find even decent cherry tomatoes, I'll toss together a big bowl of "lettuceless" Greek salad: cucumbers, red onion, Kalamata olives, Feta, tomatoes, lemon, oregano and olive oil, and with the rest of the cherry tomatoes I'll do a BLT salad: croutons, thick-cut crunchy bacon, and tomatoes in a lemon mayo and roll it up in romaine leaves. Lentil salad, with vinaigrette and lardons and a poached egg; watercress salad with peanut sauce (hot). Great greens, with avocado and a creamy cilantro/pepita dressing; guacamole stuffed into or spooned onto cucumber rounds, if that counts? I've loved Vietnamese rice noodle salads since before I can remember and make that from time to time. Crab salad with grapefruit, yum. And every now and then why I just have to have a wedge of the 'berg, w/ bacon bits and blue cheese. Oh...but one of my alltime favorites? It's ridiculously simple, but this step makes the salad a magical thing: plain mixed greens, red and greenleaf and maybe some frisee or arugula for a touch of bitter, with a light dijon dressing. Now for the top-secret brilliant part: you use the GRATER to send a beautiful shower of good blue cheese drifting like color-tinged snow over the top, a good 1/4 cup. It aerates the cheese and I can't even describe how good it is. You'd not think it would make such a difference. It does. Just try it, especially next to a juicy steak or chop; the meat juices run in and it's evil and swoony. I make hot German potato salad, and taco salads go down anytime of year. I'm sure there are more though. :) That's the best of them.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mamachef

        Yes, Yes, I want some colored-tinged snow on my salad too!! What a wonderful idea.

        I would love to have your hot German potato salad, I have not had a really good taste of that salad since the days of Oma & Opa...they are gone along with that wonderful german taste of food.

        1. re: mamachef

          I will be making a salad tonight
          http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2...
          that uses blue cheese -- would you say you *always* grate now, rather than crumble?

          1. re: mamachef

            The grater-cheese trick works great with feta. I love a sort of greek salad with shredded romaine, chopped olives and grape tomatoes. Warm brown rice with lemon and mint tossed in and a lemony oregano dressing. The warm rice sucks up the dressing and its cool and warm at the same time. Grated feta on top... I could eat it every night!

            1. re: mamachef

              mamachef --

              Could (or would) you please share the creamy cilantro pepita dressing?

            2. Kale!!! Kale, kale, kale!!! With olive oil and lemon juice and a little salt. I also LOVE roasted almonds put through the food processor tossed with the whole thing. Pickled or frizzled red onions are also great, as is feta cheese.... but I can just stop after the almonds. These are the best salads for me, and I just discovered kale salads last summer!

              5 Replies
              1. re: IndyGirl

                What are "frizzled" onions,,,roasted perhaps??? Lovely salad combo you have there. How do you pickle the onions? Sorry to be so dense, but just would like to do it exactly as yours, so I have to ask. Thank you.

                1. re: cstout

                  I just pickle them fast by soaking them in red wine vinegar in the fridge. These are also fab on sandwiches. I know I saw a recipe long ago, but I don't know where it is or whether I do anything differently now. A little of these goes a long way.

                  By frizzled, I just mean thinly sliced and slow fried on the stovetop. This works with shallots too of course. similar to this:
                  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/frizzled...

                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    IndyGirl, yes, I think I saw a recipe for the onions to be marinated in some type of oil & vinegar & maybe fresh cracked pepper & put in the fridge for a couple of hours...not too long though. Onions are so necessary in everything, I think. Thanks for the link.

                  2. re: cstout

                    cstout,

                    That quick-pickle of red onions works in lime juice, too, and the pickled red onions are also marvelous on this watermelon salad with feta, mint, olives (for me a summer salad, just another idea for the future if you like the pickled red onions).

                    http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/w...

                    1. re: peppermint_sky

                      peppermint_sky....oh yes, I can taste that summery watermelon salad that pops in your mouth with the taste of those red onions that lulled around in a bath of lime juice...talking about flavor - I can shut my eyes & imagine the music of each ingredient. The link was great, thank you.

                2. I have switched from balsamic vinegar to rice vinegar. Tasty.

                  1. One I've been enjoying of late is some mizuna(beautiful!) and orange with a vinagrette with olive oil, s&p, OJ. Simple and delish. Loving all these ideas and will definitely be trying the blue cheese trick.

                    1. I will be making this

                      http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2...

                      for the 1st time tonight. Will report.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: blue room

                        Reporting back: meh.
                        I suppose I'd like it better with more nuts, cheese and dried fruit, but then it wouldn't really be salad. The ingredient list sure sounded good to me, but I'm disappointed with the outcome.

                      2. Grains and more grains.. Wheat berrys, farro, brown rice, these can take a while to cook so I cook a lot and freeze them. I eat salads most days for lunch and dinner and need to keep them somewhat interesting. I add chopped olives, Bulgarian feta, grated carrots etc... One of the green market vendors sells pea shoots and sunflower shoots and they add a nice crunch and oomph to salad. There is also always a protein, chicken (grilled marinated, chili powder), pork strips or maybe beef. If I am really desperate for time I add a good quality delis meat or a can of tuna. all of this on mixed greens (red, green , mizuna, baby lettuces etc..) and a few chunks of iceberg to keep it crispy.

                        1. Another favorite:

                          Mrs. Poole's Fresh Cauliflower Salad
                          1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
                          3 tablspoons butter
                          9 to 10 cups Romaine lettuce, torn bite-size
                          1 cup mayonnaise
                          2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
                          1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                          1 small clove garlic, mashed
                          salt & pepper to taste
                          1 half head of cauliflower, grated

                          Brown the bread crumbs in butter and cool. Mix mayo,Parmesan,lemon juice, garlic. Add s&p. Toss salad with this dressing, then distribute crumbs and cauliflower over top, don't toss, serve.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: blue room

                            I don't know who Mrs Poole is, but she has a mighty fine salad that I am wanting to make..thank you Mrs Poole, wherever you are!!

                            1. re: blue room

                              Mrs. Poole must have been a fan of an utterly addictive salad that a now-defunct local restaurant used to do here. She must have been Jewish, though, because her recipe is missing the bacon :) Make it redneck awesome with iceberg instead of romaine.
                              Maybe a little sugar in the dressing, too.
                              I've always chopped the cauliflower and tossed it in with the other stuff, but I'm going to try the grating thing.

                              Great ideas! I'm a total salad whore.

                              1. re: splatgirl

                                splatgirl, geez, I think I am becoming one too!!!