The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
2 T vinegar or lemon juice or a combination of the two
Salt and pepper
6 T oil
Optional: 1-2 cloves crushed garlic (or 1 teaspoon crushed shallots)
1. If desired, crush garlic or shallots in a small bowl
2. Add vinegar to the garlic
3. whisk in a pinch of salt
4. Taste. Add more if needed.
5. Whisk in the oil until emulsified or add all ingredients in a covered container and shake vigorously.
6. Add pepper and finely chopped herbs if desired.
· Add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard or Braggs Amino Acids to the vinegar.
· Puree a clove or garlic or ½ a shallot and add to vinegar
· Add a seasoned herby salt instead of plain salt
· For a creamy dressing, substitute heavy cream, creme fraiche, or yoghurt for some of the oil
· My favorite fresh herbs in salad are dill, cilantro, basil, and tarragon
You can either toss your salad in a bowl (greens and heavy items separately as not to crush your lettuce), or lay the greens on each individual plate, adding the heavier items and vinaigrette on top:
Seen here for beets and blood oranges
I think the biggest mistake people make with green salads is putting the wrong ingredients together. I love fruits in salads. The best ones to use are any citrus, pears, apples, strawberries, figs, and pomegranates. In order for a salad to taste good, each ingredient needs to go together. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put strawberries with hearts of palms or artichokes. Yuck!
If you use fruit, don’t put tomatoes in your salad. The flavors don’t mix well. Put your tomatoes together with the more savory additions. For instance, tomatoes go great with hearts of palms or artichokes. Yum!
I love putting nuts or seed on salads, especially since I don’t eat meat. Good choices are walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds. You can toast these nuts briefly in a pan over a medium high flame but they are great plain, as well.
Here are some good combinations for salad (for all of these, I arrange the heavier ingredients on top of the lettuce)
1. Arugula, pear or grapefruit, and avocado with Parmesan curls or Gorgonzola cheese with a lemon vinaigrette.
2. Mixed greens of your choice, sliced roasted beets (see below), dill, thinly sliced red onion with goat cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.
Bake beets in aluminum foil. Leave a few inches of stems so they don't bleed.
Peel skin off beets, slice and voila! Salad oomph!
3. Mixed greens (arugula, mizuna, and spinach) with sliced strawberries, feta, toasted sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette.
4. Mixed greens with toasted caramelized slivered almonds, mandarin oranges, sliced red onion and rice vinegar vinaigrette (use canola oil and add a little sugar for this one).
5. Mixed greens with vine ripened tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red pepper, cucumber, and feta. Use red wine vinegar mixed with oregano for this Greek variation.
7. Mixed greens with artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, tomatoes, and a garlic-thyme vinaigrette (toasted pine nuts are good on this one).
Next week, chopped salads as center stage!