Killer Salads

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I’ve been making some killer dinner salads lately and I’d like to share with you my technique.

I subscribe to the “stuff” philosophy of salad-making which is, essentially, that the best part of a salad is the “stuff,” not the lettuce. So my salads have no lettuce: just lots of stuff mixed together in a bowl with a homemade vinaigrette. The salad above, for example, has chopped up carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, bacon, avocado and blue cheese. The salad below, on the other hand, has peppers, carrots, onions, green beans, and chickpeas:

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So here’s how I make a great salad. Buy your ingredients–they don’t have to be fancy or even from the farmer’s market, I got mine from my crappy Key Foods–bring them home and wash them and dry them well. Then cut your ingredients into big pieces and throw them into a bowl.

In a smaller bowl, place an egg yolk (that’s my dressing secret), a big spoonful of spicy French mustard and about 2 Tbs of balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper and whisk together. Then, slowly, drizzle in–drop by drop–your favorite olive oil, whisking all the time. If you do it correctly, it’ll stay thick and emulsified and you’ll ahve a creamy, tangy, colorful dressing for which to dress your salad.

Then pour about half the dressing over the vegetables, crumble on some really good blue cheese (the kind that has a name–like Danish Blue, which I used), grind some pepper over the bowl and mix it all together with a big spoon. Taste a bite and see if it needs more dressing, if it needs more cheese. Adjust accordingly and serve with some crusty bread which you’ve heated in the oven.

It may not be the healthiest salad on the block, but its certainly a healthier alternative to that fast food burger you were thinking of scarfing down from immoral cows.

Bon appetit.

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