Monday, December 12, 2022

Salad, Salad, Salad! FOR: Mary S., Julie, Cason, and everyone!

One of my recent salad creations! 
Star ingredients are Rob's greens from Young Harvests Farm, concorde pear, roasted sweet potato, manchego cheese, & toasted pecans.

I have become an excellent salad maker!  When my kids were younger I used to follow recipes for vinaigrettes and salad components.  The salads were always delicious and appreciated. We certainly had our favorites and I made them over and over (see one of my favorites HERE).  During these past two years I have become better at just using whatever lettuces and other items seem like a good combination.  What I have realized is that my salad creations are always delicious! It's all about how the flavor and texture of the salad ingredients compliment each other.  

Special "thank you!" to the ROB who grows the MOST DELICIOUS (and sustainably grown) salad greens - at Young Harvests Farm .  Everything Rob grows is exceptional in taste and nutrients because he is using techniques that save the natural ecosystems in the soil.  He even found a way to package the greens in compostable bags.  I buy his greens every week at the Bethesda Central Farm Market.  Rob's compostable bags (and small containers) go right into our backyard compost!  

Two Techniques:

1.  Using whisk or fork, emulsify lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, & salt & pepper in bowl prior to adding ingredients.  (or use just lemon and olive oil - leave out vinegar) 

2.  Put all ingredients into a large bowl.  Salt and pepper and mix ingredients - taste to see if you properly seasoned.  Then add squeeze of lemon, vinegar, and olive oil to taste.  Mix again. (or use just lemon and olive oil - leave out vinegar)

These ingredients really "MAKE" a salad for me:

  • Spanish Olive Oil (Picual or Arbequina)
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon
  • White Balsamic
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher sea salt
  • combination of lettuces, pea shoots, and herbs
  • fruit in season such as: figs, plums, peaches, berries, pears, apples
  • roasted or seasoned nuts such as: roasted pecans, almonds or walnuts, tamari or marcona almonds
  • Goat Cheese (Chevre) or Sheep Cheese (6-month Manchego)
  • Avocado
  • crunchy veggies such as cucumber, fennel, carrot, or endive (shaved thin or sliced thick)
  • yellow and/or orange grape tomatoes
When I make a salad even heartier I'll add chicken, steak, roasted sweet potato, soft-boiled egg, sliced gold or red beets, steamed yukon gold potatoes, anchovies, green lentils, or tuna.

Technique 1: squeezing fresh lemon into the bowl

Technique 1:  emulsifying lemon, vinegar, and olive oil

Technique 1:  Adding all my greens to the bowl with the emulsified vinaigrette.  Ready to mix!

Salad-Making Lesson with Mary S. and Gail

Adding dijon mustard to the vinaigrette is always a wonderful option ;)

My attempt to recreate a delicious salad I enjoyed with Hong.

Preping a little gift for Cason & the Epoch Boys (the remaining spanish olive oil, lemon, and red plum)

Salad-making Lesson with Beautiful Julie!

My FAVORITE Vinegar!!!!!

Ingredients for a salad