What's Your Salad Style?
For along time my salads were composed of fancy greens, vinaigrettes with different vinegars, minced shallots, and mustard, and nuts, fruits, baked goat cheese, etc. Then I jumped to large, hearty, American-style salads, piled with vegetables, croutons, cheeses, and Ranch dressing (used to hate it). Now, I am a minimalist. My favorite salad is baby greens with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. I eat it with my breakfast and it provides the most yummy fresh note with eggs, toast, and fruit.
EDIT: Throughout my salad journey I have also gone down the grain salad road - I'm not including that here because it might be another entire thread someday!
What is your salad style? Recipes always welcome!
Is it salad if the lettuce is left out?
When decent lettuce was hard to find or sad looking greens were avail, I started leaving it out. Turns out while I like lettuce in place of bread (egg, tuna or chicken salad rolled in lettuce leaves) I don't really miss it in salad. I like all the add ons about a salad. So now unless I can get nice, simple greens I just make salads with any # of combinations of roasted vegetables, cheese, fresh pears, etc. some lemon juice..
The only exception is Caesar salad in a restaurant known for making it exceptionally well.
my mom always eschewed salad dressings, olive oil, or even lemon juice on salads - dry, dry, dry. but, for better or for worse, that's how i enjoy them still to this day. i like colorful peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and sometimes dill pickles or pickeled jalapenos for an added kick -
My salad style depends upon the greens available, the time of year, the heat/cold of the day and what I feel like. That can mean hearts of romaine creamy Caesar with croutons fried in olive oil, arugula with chopped apple in a Roquefort vinaigrette or right now baby greens with olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest with a slice of homemade Italian bread. Oh and when frisee looks good, that with a mustard/bacon dressing topped with a poached egg is perfect.
I love veggies and consider many variations wonderful. I prefer full grown lettuces to baby greens and make my own vinaigrette. It always has oil n vinegar, usually mustard unless I'm going a different route. Sometimes i use salsa many types as a dressing instead. Past those I will add fresh or pickled vegetable of many sorts. Unless its a classic ceasar I don't want cheese. Finally frequently a hard boiled egg for the protein.
So many styles and iterations depending on if it is a meal, or a side.
If it's a side, usually romaine hearts, grape tomaties, some feta and a vinegraitte dressing (Mr. Vuitton makes it); or a greek salad as a side.
If it is a meal, then the above romaine salad plus chickpeas or kidney beans, olives, shredded carrot, chicken or tofu for protein, perhaps a grain, perhaps a nut or dried fruit.
Also, if a meal, baby spinach as a base, topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, blue cheese, a few ounces of steak, fresh pepper, Frank;s Red Hot and Peppercorn dressing
Another salad meal is biteside baked Ahke and Bake chicken pieces on a bed of iceberg with some grape tomatoes, feta, olives, Franks and Ranch or peppercorn dressing
Then there is the grain based salads,,,
I was using baby spinach as a base for all salads for a while, but needed a switch up so I went to romaine
Ditto. It depends on the purpose of the salad.
If it's a side dish with my dinner, then simple leaf lettuce with a mustard vinaigrette. Vinaigrette varies somewhat in terms of what type of oil, what type of vinegar, and whether I add ground flax or wheat germ to the dressing.
If salad is the meal, then it expands to include many types of vegetables, maybe some fruits, and a protein source. Still lettuce based, though. The dressing stays the same.
Lately I've taken to adding either some leftover pasta, quinoa, or other grain to the same lettuce based + vegetable + protein dish.
I have a tough time making grain based salads a complete meal. That said, I can eat leftover quinoa + protein as a quick lunch. The quinoa is usually leftover from last night's meal. So is that just leftovers eaten room temperature, or is it a salad? I think that's where the definition of "salad" starts to hit the edge....