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About Salad Combinations PDF Print E-mail

In this formula page I will intend to help define and present the building blocks for interesting and distinctive salads. I will give you at least nine different combinations of salads. I am creating for you here a method and ideas for salads rather than giving you the actual amounts. I have posted each of the vinaigrettes listed as separate recipes within the pages of this section of the book.

The word salad really doesn't have any strict definition in the food industry. Salads are any combination of ingredients that suit you. I like to combine bitter greens with a sweet vinaigrette, always including some crunch to the salad either from nuts or croutons, and often some sort of cheese to soften the pungency of the vinegar in the dressing. It is imperative that you use the freshest ingredients possible. You will notice that I have paid close attention to colors as well. I will include a variety of colors to liven up the plate and to give the salad eye appeal. It is imperative that all the leafy greens and vegetables are thoroughly washed and properly dried. This applies to all vegetables. It is especially important for leafy greens as dirt is easily caught in the leaves. Aside from thorough washing I like to cut greens to edible size with and extremely sharp knife. The reason for this is that greens will bruise easy cutting them with a sharp knife the greens stay un bruised. The great thing about salads is that there is loads of creative freedom to be found so I've listed the ingredients without quantities so you can put in as little or as much of each ingredient as you like. These salads can be tossed then served for a casual meal or built in layers on each plate for a more formal serving.

We serve dressing on the side for most of these salads. We do this to avoid salads getting soggy. At home I like to actually dress the salad as the flavors get mixed more thoroughly and distributed evenly. We will also serve cheese like feta on the side because not every one likes feta cheese. And again at home you can easily combine this cheese in your tossed salad.

Just in case you are looking at some of these ingredients and wondering to yourself, "What on earth is tatsoi?", for your convenience I have given you a produce manual description of the most common greens.
(Information provided by the PMA's Fresh Produce Manual see select sources and web sites) Arugula-( considered a bitter herb also known as "rocket") smooth small notched leaves with dark green color. Exhibits a delicate, peppery flavor.

 

Belgian Endive - a relative of standard endive or chicory, characterized with elongated head approximately 5 inches long, consisting of white, compact leaves with light yellow tips. Flavor is mild and bitter.

Bib Lettuce - Also called Boston Lettuce(a sweet green) light green, flexible leaves with a mild flavor. Avoid lettuce that appears wilted or shows sights of discoloration or decay- dark butts, yellow-tipped leaves, or cracked ribs.

Endive - also called chicory, loose bunch of narrow leaves with ruffled edges. Leaf color ranges from dark green on the outer edge to yellow white on the center. Slightly bitter flavor.

Escarole - large, closely bunched heads of slightly crumpled leaves that curve outward from the center of the head. Escarole can be wilted with success.

Iceberg Lettuce - compact, light green heads with crisp texture and delicate flavor. I usually avoid iceberg because of its light flavor and lack of nutritional value. Choose heads that a firm to the touch and avoid lettuce with wilted, discolored, or translucent leaves. Iceberg tends to brown easy once cut and is a nother reason why I do not like to use it. However it does have its uses and applications. It can be used as part of these salad although I don't use it.

Radicchio - (considered bitter) compact head of maroon-red leaves with white veins. Distinct flavor and slightly bittersweet. Choose a firm, compact head. Radicchio can be successfully grilled if quartered properly.

Red or Green Leaf Lettuce - loosely bunched curly leaves with a crisp texture. Lettuce should be fresh, crisp, and well colored. This is definetly a sweet green and is verydelicate. It bruises easily but loks pretty. Whole leaves work well on sandwiches and as garnish under appetizer or vegetable trays.

Romaine Lettuce - long, loaf shaped leaves that range from green outer leaves to yellow inner leaves with crisp texture. Avoid romaine with wilted or damaged outer leaves. This lettuce is the standard base for the famous Caesar and Cobb salad.

Spring Mix - tossed greens including Red or Green Oak leaf, Red or Green Leaf Lettuce, Red or Green Romaine, radicchio, frisee (feathery, scraggly, pencil thin leaves), and a variety of other specialty greens. Spring mix varieties are generally available everywhere and come packeaged ready to use. Be prepared to use it withina few days of purchasing as it has a short shelf life. Spring mix can also be called mesclun mix or mixed baby greens.

Tatsoi - thick, dark green, and spoon-shaped leaves with white midribs. Flavor is similar to spicy cabbage. This is also called spoon spinach.

Spinach Salad
This is often a kickoff salad as every body seems to love the cilantro vinaigrette. We often add yellow peppers for color and we make our own bacon bits.
Ingredients: Spinach, spring mix, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, sliced red pepper, toasted almonds, crispy bacon pieces (real), crumbled feta cheese served with Cilantro Vinaigrette or Zesty Ranch (these recipes are in It's Not Just Camp Food Anymore)

New Mexican Chicken Caesar Salad
This formula has on its own at least 2 variations. One is with a standard grilled chicken breast (see master recipe in INJCFA) and the other is with a barbequed chicken breast using our chipotle barbeque sauce.
Ingredients: Romaine topped with sliced red and yellow pepper strips, cherry or grape tomatoes, crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips (see Tortilla Soup recipe), shredded jack cheese and served with either Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette or New Mexican Caesar dressing (see recipes) -Each salad is served with either chicken breast cut into strips. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Greek Salad
A standard in many food service establishments. I have chosen again to use romaine instead of iceberg. This salad is often served with a sharp acidy vinaigrette but I have chosen to pair it with a sweeter dressing.
Ingredients: Romaine, pitted kalamata and green olives, Thinly sliced red onion, sliced green bell pepper, wedged Roma Tomato, sliced cucumber and crumbled feta cheese served with a Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe available in It's Not Just Camp Food Anymore) can also be served with roasted shallot vinaigrette.

Kameron's Favorite Salad
Once again in search of new combinations we came up with this. It happens to be my 110 percent assistants favorite.
Ingredients: Spring mix, romaine, green leaf, chopped toasted pecans, yellow bell pepper strips, thinly sliced sweet onion, dried cranberries, raisins, crumbled bleu cheese served with Roasted Garlic and Stone Ground Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe).

Steak Salad
We used to serve this as one of our going home salads on Sundays lunch menu.
Ingredients: Romaine, green and red leaf, grilled onions, grilled yellow squash, sliced red pepper or roasted red peppers, chopped walnuts, shredded gruyere cheese and sliced steak served with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe available in It's Not Just Camp Food Anymore) This will pair well with a raspberry vinaigrette or even ranch dressing. Note: use a medium cooked piece of grilled steak, sliced thin. This is good way to use up a leftover steak from a BBQ.

Combination #1
A French bistro style salad that we served at one of our recent pastors wives conferences. The combination of bitter and sweet greens works well with the mellow roasted garlic dressing.
Ingredients: Bib lettuce, escarole, tatsoi, arrugala, sliced pink lady apples, chopped walnuts, raisins, sunflower seeds served with Roasted Garlic and Stone Ground Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipie)

Combination #2
Another Bistro style salad we diversified here by adding the texture of shredded cabbages. This added both crunch and pungency as well as eye appeal.
Ingredients: Escarole, raddichio, spring mix, shredded red and green cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, sliced black olives, slices mushrooms, and crumbled feta cheese served with Roasted Garlic and Stone Ground Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Combination #3
Arugala, Belgium endive, and radicchio make up an Italian salad known simply as "tri-colore." This salad is very bitter so we sweetened it with roasted beets and grilled onions. Here we added the element a smoke dimension from the grilled onions and squash as well.
Ingredients: Spring mix, arugala, belgium endive, radicchio, grilled onions, sliced grilled yellow squash, roasted beets served with Herbed Champagne and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette (see recipe). Also works well with Roasted onion and balsamic vinaigrette.

Combination #4
This salad highlights the nutty nature and bitterness of escarole and arugala while topping with sweet toppings and serving with a sweet dressing. The balance achieved is astounding.
Ingredients: Escarole, arrugala, radicchio, sliced yellow bell peppers, sliced red apples, chopped cashews, dried cranberries, crumbled bleu cheese served with Roasted Sweet Onion Vinaigrette (see recipe)

 
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