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Aug 1, 2013 12:50 PM

Composed Salads - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (August 2013)

Welcome to the reporting thread for the August Dish of the Month. This month we will be composing salads. Please share your composed salads with us on this thread. Share your ingredients, your method, your outcome. Especially this month, as the visual aspect is so important in a composed salad, please share your photos!

I have to admit, I had my fingers crossed for a month of license to eat ice cream, but you all chose the healthier alternative. All the better, I'm sure!

If you are reporting on a recipe, please remember to paraphrase if it is not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

All are welcome to join in. If you haven't participated before, or if you've been lurking, please jump right in. Feel free to ask questions too.

Ready, set, compose!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad with Anchovy, Caper, and Garlic Dressing

    My first salad in a month that is going to have a lot of vegetables. This is from a cookbook called "The Well-Dressed Salad" by Jennifer Joyce and I'm planning to use it a lot this month. I've had this cookbook for years, but have never made anything from it. When I lived in London, I took several cooking classes at the Books for Cooks shop from Jennifer and love her food and her book "Diva Cooking", so I picked this up on a visit a few years back.

    The salad is composed of green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella (recipe calls for bocconcini, but I just had large mozzarella), and fresh basil.

    The dressing is 1 chopped anchovy, 10 chopped capers, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 125 ml red wine vinegar, and 7 Tbsp EVOO

    I liked the salad (What's not to like ... it really is just a glorified Caprese). I had some really nice fresh mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy that I bought at my local farmer's market. I would probably adjust the ratio of oil to vinegar in the dressing (less vinegar) if I made it again.

    5 Replies
    1. re: stockholm28

      LOVE the sound of that dressing. Betcha it would work super-awesomely on a salade niçoise....which is a composed salad, yes?? :-)

        1. re: stockholm28

          Stunning presentation of a delicious-sounding salad stockholm...well done. You've made me wish I was having that for brunch today!

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Thanks everyone for the compliments and encouragement.

          2. re: stockholm28

            This sounds and looks wonderful, especially the dressing.

          3. I had to look up what a "composed salad" was (since I always thought my salads were level-headed, temperate and collected(from the garden).

            Imagine my surprise when I found that I had unknowingly made one earlier this week: Slices of Suyo cucumber and Pink Oxheart tomato layered around a glop of Telleme cheese, with two dressing choices. Sorry, but no picture was taken.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DonShirer

              You can get some inspiration by looking at Google images for composed salad:
              Or images for cobb salad, chef's sald, etc.

            2. Salads are not in the cards for me this month since I am spending it either travelling or eating with kids and these kids do not like salads very much, composed or otherwise. I have a feeling that before August is over we'll have huge quantities of tomatoes to deal with. Tomato plants are over five feet tall, laden with fruit and still flowering! And there are many plants since this is my daughter's first veg garden and they looked so small as seedlings :) And, no, of course she didn't listen to my words of reason - why would she ? :)

              I will be lurking and making notes of your fabulous salads hoping that come Sep we'll choose something "tomato" to play with.

              Happy cooking!

              3 Replies
              1. re: herby

                herby, caprese salad (sliced summer tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and a drizzle of oilive oil) is a classic composed salad that would use up some of those tomatoes!!

                1. re: herby

                  We're trying to reel you back in herby...

                  Are there any vegetables the kids would like? How about a composed potato salad? Or a composed fruit salad?

                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                    I would love to participate - will see how it goes :) Kids are not easy - they do not care for many dressings (love balsamic of all things) and between allergies, mom's rules and preferences not the easiest to cook new dishes for. Take the wonderful salad that stockholm28 posted; dairy is a no-no and the kids won't touch anchovy, not sure about capers - but without these ingredients it will not be the same salad....

                2. Warm Salad of Green Beans, Poached Egg, and Ravigote Dressing.

                  This is another recipe from "The Well-Dressed Salad" by Jennifer Joyce.

                  This was delicious ... definitely a keeper.

                  The dressing is 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 175 ml peanut oil, 1 Tbsp chopped capers, 1 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 finely chopped sprigs of tarragon, and 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot.

                  the rest of the ingredients are:
                  200 grams green beans
                  1 Tbsp olive oil
                  1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
                  4 eggs

                  Cook the beans until al dente and put in ice water to keep color. You can do this in advance.

                  Make the dressing.

                  Before serving, warm the green beans in the olive oil in pan.

                  Poach the eggs one at a time in water w/ 1 T of vinegar.

                  To serve, place green beans on plate, top with egg, and drizzle with dressing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: stockholm28

                    wow, you found another wonderful one!

                  2. One I enjoy is wedges of ripe tomato, wedges of avocado, and very thinly sliced sweet onion topped with a drizzle of a peanut oil/Maille Dijon/white wine vinegar vinaigrette and a little moist grey salt. If I have them on hand I may add asparagus (steamed or roasted) and/ or roasted red bell pepper.