Composed Salads - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (August 2013)
- L.Nightshade Aug 1, 2013 12:50 PM
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!
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.
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.
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.
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....
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
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.
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.
I like the combination of steamed rapini/broccoli rabe, tomato and avocado with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Or sometimes I will just have the rapini and avocado with baked tofu slices (marinated in soy sauce, honey, garlic, sriracha, lemon juice and nutritional yeast) and leftover marinade as the dressing..
There is a reason this is such a classic – it’s yummy! A bit time-consuming because of all the prep but oh so good. I realized halfway through eating it that I forgot to strew some capers over it all but was too lazy to get up and get them. And I had a fortuitous jar of ventresca tuna in the pantry but any light (eg, non-white) oil-packed tuna would be good too. Went very well with a nice dry NZ sauvignon blanc.
Well, I did sort of composed salad. I made dressing with lemon, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, mustard, salt, maple syrup and olive oil. Tossed greens, cherry tomatoes, chives and green onions with the dressing and arranged in the middle of the platter. On the sides went just picked sliced cukes and long green pepper, slices of roasted chicken breast and assorted olives. We also had sushi rolls on the side that my daughter brought for lunch. It all went together, maybe a little weird but nice :)
BTW, my daughter asked if she could take dressing home and I had to make another batch since none was left.
Here's a Salade Nicoise from August two years ago when I was fortunate enough to have fresh homegrown Sungold tomatoes, Romano beans, and wax beans; lettuce and baby Yukon Gold potatoes from the CSA; and to top it all, an 80-pound yellowfin tuna caught by my husband on vacation in Cabo and pan-seared at home! (The Kalamata olives and eggs were the only store-bought parts!) IIRC, the dressing was something similar to the one used here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...
Hoping we can snag another tuna next week!
This is my composition of deconstruction salad, or it'll just go by destruction salad in my house in the future. It's a lot of the components you would find in a Vietnamese style spring roll, unrolled. Pork marinated in soy and fish sauces, bird chili, lemongrass and ginger. Mixed lettuce with basil and mint, fried glass noodles, carrots, green onion, peanuts and cukes. Dressing is spicy peanut sauce.
Assembly is a bit sloppy:( Sadly, I was in a hurry to plate before The Bachelorette came on.
This one is years of modification, I think I've got a good balance now...
while that is going on, in a (very) large bowl, put in...
a few TBSP of olive oil and a clove or two of minced garlic
halved cherry tomatoes
julienned yellow and orange bell pepper
halved and thinly sliced hothouse cucumber
very thin sliced red onion
halved and pitted kalamata olives
chopped fresh Italian parsley (and mint, if you wish)
cover veggies with LOTS of crumbled feta
Drain orzo, while still hot, pour over veggies and feta, mix roughly (so the feta kind of melts and coats the orzo)
Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve with Greek Vinagrette.
(You can omit the pasta if you are doing low-carb)
Better the next day, when the soft middle of the tomatoes has worked it's way out, and cheesy orzo filled the flesh.
Smoked Mackeral and Potato Salad with Tartar Sauce
The tartar sauce was pretty intense on the potatoes but paired with sliced crispy cukes it was great and perfect with the smoky fish. This one is worth repeating!
Tonight's HC DOTM evolved from the remnants of last night's dinner. It is more of a Fusion Composed Salad, if that still counts!
I took leftover roast salmon and placed atop shredded romaine that had been lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. A slice of heirloom tomato and bufala mozzarella is next to the salmon. A few roasted baby potatoes, asparagus spears and zucchini slices are on the other side. A few pitted kalamata olives are also present, with a final splash of sherry vinegar to perk things up a bit, and a dollop of roasted garlic mayo to dip the fish and potatoes in.
Sounded and tasted good; not so much for the pic!
Yesterday morning I made a 7 layer salad for dinner. 1: lettuce with shaved carrots and red cabbage. 2: frozen green peas. 3: diced water chestnuts. 4: sliced green onions. 5: mayonnaise. 6: grated parmesan cheese. 7: light dusting of sugar. To go with the salad, we had some pizza biscuits. Was kind of fun to be creative with each one.
I adapted ideas from several other posters in this thread, and I outright stole stockholm28's dressing! This salad had grilled salmon, butter lettuce, steamed Romano beans, potatoes and shaved fennel with aioli, cherry tomatoes, and a fresh corn and shiitake relish. All topped with the anchovy-caper vinaigrette.
Very fresh and summery!
I'm so glad for this topic, I haven't made this in a while. It's a bit of prep work but so good!
-tofu, pressed, sprinkled with kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
-zucchini or other summer squash
Spicy peanut dressing
-1 to 3 minced fresh chiles (depending on how spicy you want it)
-minced clove of garlic
--dab of shrimp paste (not essential, but good if you can find it)
-1 c coconut milk
-1 T brown sugar
-1/4 c crunchy natural peanut butter (not Jif or Skippy!)
-juice of 1/2 lime
1. cut tofu into cubes and fry til crispy
2. blanch the carrots, green beans, cabbage, bean sprouts, zucchini; cool under running water, drain
3. boil potatoes, slice or cube
4. for dressing, process 1st 4 ingredients to a paste
5. add to coconut milk, sugar, pb, blend well and cook over low heat til thickened; add lime juice to taste
(can use a store bought peanut sauce in a pinch, but I haven't found one as good)
Serve at room temp with sliced hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers. If you can find krupuk (Indonesian shrimp crackers), fry some up and serve along side (make extra peanut sauce for dipping!)
No pictures but lots of different ways to present - have layered this in a straight-sided glass bowl or arranged on a platter or on individual salad plates
When a nearby supermarket had BOGO special on whole cooked lobsters, I grabbed two small ones (for a total of $12.98). I picked the lobsters and tossed the meat with the juice of 1/2 lemon and then again with about 2 T mayo and 1 T chopped chives and S & P. I tossed some sliced red onion and tomato wedges with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
The lobster salad got divided and spooned onto two platefuls of lettuce (red leaf and baby romaine). Wedges of hard-boiled egg and slices of avocado got arranged, along with the tomato wedges, around the lobster. I spooned the slightly marinated red onion over the top of the salad, and, voilà, lunch--slightly luxe, low-carb, and delicious!
Watermelon-Shishito Pepper Salad
Does a tiny "composed" salad count?
I thought I'd post because this was delicious and refreshing. I'm planning to do a platter-sized version at an upcoming dinner party.
The base was a bed of lettuce (arugula and some errant frisee found in its bag). Chunks of sweet, ripe watermelon got plunked on top and some roasted shishito peppers placed along the edges. A generous squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkle of "lemon flake" salt (from a gift assortment of fancy salts), and that was it.
I meant to add a few fresh cherries I had on hand, but forgot. But I'm sure they'd have been good on this. As would mango chunks and/or feta, slivered red onion, fresh basil. My husband suggested bacon. Hmm. Possibly.
Had one left over Duck Confit from earlier night, not enough for 2, so decided to make a salad from leftover roast vegies.. into a Confit de canard Pumpkin salad.
Home Made Duck Confit
cheap Balsamic reduction, Maple Syrup with a drop of Mustard and dash of garlic infused olive oil.
Next time should add some Walnuts or Pine Nuts and Corn flakes. but the Dressing was really good!
Chef Salad. Fabulous ham and turkey from the posh deli, FM cherry tomatoes, avocado and hb egg on a bed of crispy romaine and radicchio with a lemon-dijon-caper vinaigrette. Really yummy, the radicchio worked well to balance the sweet tomatoes and ham. I am so glad to rediscover the composed salads I have made this month, I had lost track of how good they are.
Salmon Salade Niçoise. I used the hb egg and anchovy to make a deviled egg which was really nice. Can't decide if I prefer the classic tuna version or the salmon version -- they are both so good. This only worked for a weeknight because I had the green beans, hb egg and potato salad as well as the vinaigrette already made. You can see I was too lazy to wash lettuce for underneath!
Your post inspired me to make potato salad today very similar to yours - cider vinegar, Dijon, capers, olive oil and about a tablespoon of mayo - so yummy :)
I also made corn/peach salad and an eggplant one from Jerusalem - it is a salad day at casa mia :) Just not a composed one...
I made this one a couple of nights ago; I called it a 'NW-meets-Italian Nicoise...
Spinach leaves tossed with an orange-dijon vinaigrette, then topped with a rare-seared tuna steak, crusted with cracked peppercorns and toasted fennel seeds done on the grill.
A soft boiled egg, 1/2'd cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper slivers, a little crumbled feta, a dribble of more dressing and a dab of lemon/dill aioli on the tuna to finish.
Side of crostini's and tapenade, it hit the spot!
Well, I don't know if this "technically" qualifies as a composed salad, but it was somewhat layered. Asian Chicken Salad. So refreshing and yummy. Did it like a "7 layer salad" with coleslaw on the bottom, sesame oiled cooked cold spaghetti noodles, bias cut green onions, julliened green & yellow peppers, bias cut celery and thinly sliced chicken breast, topped with a bottled asian sesame salad dressing. Tossed at the very end. It definitely hit the spot.
Another chef's salad, this one with roxlet's delicious green goddess dressing (linked below). Tasty although I was very sad that the tomato I planned to use had gone bad -- a summer tomato would have made it fantastic!
I can't join the current DOTM due to shellfish allergies so I will just keep going on this one for awhile.
roxlet's green goddess dressing: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9152...
I'm with the two of you on this month's DOTM. Although I love clams, it's not something I cook at home. I don't have immediate access fresh clams and mussels. So last night I made a dinner caesar salad with blackened chicken. So refreshing and tasty. Should have taken a photo. But Gretchen, your salad looks lovely.
For my son's 12th birthday dinner : a composed Greek salad to go with his request of lamb chops for dinner. The salad was romaine mixed with mâché & baby lettuces, zebra heirloom tomatoes, toasted pine nuts & crumbled French feta cheese, dressed lightly in a lemon-herb vinaigrette. We had an olive relish served with the racks of lamb, so there were no olives in the salad :) No leftovers!
"Clean Out the Fridge" composed salad.
I was leaving town for a couple of weeks and a friend was coming for lunch before we rented U-Haul and drove all over picking her new stuff (she just moved and afraid to drive a truck). I wasn't making anything new but pulled out leftovers for a composed salad.
Lined plates with big leaves of leafy lettuce and arranged as artfully as possible on the top of greens:
cucumber and tomato slices
corn and peach salad
eggplant and feta salad (an amazing dish from Jerusalem that is not a salad but I made it into one)
tuna from a can (lovely Italian tuna in OO)
It turned out much better than I expected: visually attractive and very tasty. Thank you, Gretchen, for the inspiration!
I made another Nicoise version for today's lunch for six. Lined large square plate with Boston lettuce leaves, potato/dill/caper salad in the middle and around in groups: yellow and red tomato wedges, yellow beans, roasted red peppers, anchovy deviled eggs and a handful or two of mixed olives. Very pretty plate and tasty components. I love doing deconstructed salads and this thread inspired me even further!
Well, tonight's dinner is another chef's salad (see pix from above post). So good with fresh garden (and oh, so sweet tomatoes), as well as all the other same bells and whistles (ham, turkey, eggs, swiss and cheddar cheese) all atop crisp lettuce. Mine will be topped with bacon ranch with bacon bits, DH most likely with catalina and 1,000 island.
Shrimp Salad with Curry Dressing
Last night I was tired after a long hot day and a long drive, so I just didn't feel like cooking. Salad sounded perfect for dinner, and I figured it might as well be composed.
While I chopped, I marinated shrimp in olive oil, rice vinegar, a little lime juice, garlic, and ground curry spices. Around the plate went pineapple, avocado, red pepper, red onion, and a pile of mixed greens. Once the shrimp was added, the remaining dressing was drizzled over everything. Shrimp and greens were topped with toasted sliced almonds.
Not bad, the dressing/marinade worked nicely on the shrimp, but may have been a little too sharp and hot on the greens. But all in all, a nice, easy meal.
King Crab Louis salad with roasted rosemary potatoes, avocado, sweet & ripe tomato, & hard boiled egg, served over baby spinach and a Cajun remoulade dressing on the side.