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Salad


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#181 Smithy

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

You do put together some beautiful salads, Plantes Vertes. I may have missed it uptopic - if so, I apologize - what dressing do you typically use?

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#182 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:35 PM

Thank you! I don't really have a house dressing and often eat salad naked, tee hee, but I do like a 70:30 mix of  vegetable and extra virgin olive oils combined with white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. I don't measure it but I guess it's about 63:15:15:7 for the liquids and mustard, with a pinch of the seasonings and several pinches of sugar. I put a lightly squashed garlic clove in the jar and give it a hearty shake.

 

Remember to get the garlic back out if you want to save any left over, as it will make some very pungent dressing and also pose a botulism risk if I understand right...


Edited by Plantes Vertes, 17 April 2014 - 10:39 PM.


#183 rod rock

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

Me and a friend have made a nice lunch today and this is our salad:
 

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#184 huiray

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

Okay, a silly question (or two or more...):

 

What do you folks consider a salad?

What is clearly one, what is "borderline", what are the "required components"?

What would make something "other than a salad"? 

Cooked components versus raw components?

What sort of add-ins are "allowed" for it to be a "salad" in your eyes versus something else?

 

Does culinary background factor in?  An "Asian" dish versus a "French" dish, for example?  Would that "French" dish follow a certain expected delineation of what a "salad" is; versus a "Chinese" dish where the delineations are either different or not known to you or simply not applicable?

Etc etc etc...

 

Perhaps this link might be a answer for some though not fully satisfactory... :-) 



#185 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:47 AM

I am a salad hardliner. I don't consider it a salad unless it is made primarily from raw vegetables. I think after that you can add more or less what you like.

 

ETA The veg also has to be cut or prepared somehow. You can't just place raw vegetables together and call that salad.


Edited by Plantes Vertes, 22 April 2014 - 09:57 AM.


#186 btbyrd

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:53 AM

It's tough because "salad" is ambiguous between the "primarily raw vegetables" sense and the "cold/room-temp items, including animal proteins, coated in a dressing" sense (e.g., tuna salad, egg salad, etc.).



#187 SobaAddict70

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:27 AM

I am a salad hardliner. I don't consider it a salad unless it is made primarily from raw vegetables. I think after that you can add more or less what you like.
 
ETA The veg also has to be cut or prepared somehow. You can't just place raw vegetables together and call that salad.



My style of cooking tends to be "vegetable-focused", so vegetables and/or fruit will figure in some way, depending on whatever it is I'm making. Vegetables are usually raw, but sometimes there are combinations of raw and cooked components, one of tonight's appetizers being a prime example.

I have a looser definition of what constitutes a salad which is the definition found on Wikipedia.

I like to pull from various traditions whenever I make a salad, but I suppose if I had a favorite style, it would be in the Italian manner: 3-4 ingredients that go together, with a dressing. The dressing is usually wine, wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper. It's not complicated; free and easy are the phrases of the moment.

I almost never eat salads that throw everything and the kitchen sink together at home; it's the style popularized by office worker drones in cubicles across corporate America. The sandwich shop at my job says it's their biggest seller: one tub of greens (spinach, arugula, mixed mesclun, romaine), followed by one protein (tuna, chicken of whatever form you'd like to invent, egg, tofu, fish) and a variety of raw/cooked toppings, drenched by a dressing of some kind and tossed together or "chopped". It's fine for a work lunch but not something I typically eat outside of an office environment.

Making salad is a relaxing endeavor. For a leafy green salad -- You wash the greens in the sink, then spin or dry them, then assemble them in a bowl along with your other ingredients. Then you whisk together your dressing, tasting as you go, until you've reached the desired consistency. It's important that a salad be dressed properly; the greens should glisten with a fine sheen; they should taste of the dressing but not be completely immersed in it. I cannot abide salad that's drowning in a vinaigrette.

I think salad should be its own course, so you can properly appreciate it in the context of a meal.

#188 Darienne

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:54 AM

We eat 'salad' for supper every second night.  That is, the entire meal is salad.  We eat our dinner at noonish time.  The way farmers did.  We're old guys and feel that we sleep better without a full stomach.

 

Sometimes our salad is basically a tossed type salad with a lemon vinaigrette with inclusions of just about anything I choose.  Wouldn't ever call it a 'kitchen sink' salad though... 

 

Other times, it's a bed of green with cut tomato on top and the choice of a few made salads from my repertoire (which has been aided and abetted by eGullet folks over the years with recipes to feed our large gang during our Annual Dog Weekend), for instance: bean salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad, quinoa salad, tabbouleh (without tomatoes always), etc; or chunks of cheddar or slices of cold meats or canned corned beef when I'm feeling like it.  

 

Nothing fancy or worth photographing, but very satisfying.  

 

Oh, the other night is usually home made soup.  


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#189 Anna N

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

Justice Potter Stewart said, "I know it when I see it". He was speaking of pornography but his words apply equally to salad in my view. Egg salad, orzo salad, pasta salad, rice salad tabbouleh, fattoush, Nicoise, agurkesalat, the list is endless. A Great Dane and an English bulldog are about as different as it's possible to be but we all recognize that they are dogs. I am prepared to stretch the definition of salad until the strands break.
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#190 SobaAddict70

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:55 PM

I call it an everything but the kitchen sink salad because that's what salads of that type are to me. I prefer minimalist styles whenever possible; you taste more with less. Your mileage may vary.

#191 SobaAddict70

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

So, to me, this:

is straining the definition of "salad," no? I mean, I'm not saying it's not tasty. But "salad"? I dunno, when does it stop being a salad and start being "a few independent items on a plate"?


Insalata caprese is tomatoes, basil, mozzarella. 3 things. 4 if you count the dressing -- olive oil, salt, pepper, a splash of vinegar. Some recipes don't even bother with the vinegar.

I think with "salad", it can mean whatever you want it to mean.  :wink:



#192 huiray

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:08 PM

Thanks to SobaAddict70's quote of Chris Hennes' post, I was led to that (first) part of the thread (which escaped my attention) and also to the previous discussion of what constitutes a salad.  So, it seems that not much has changed since then for folks here.  It seems to depend on individual perceptions and preferences and the definition remains fluid and variable in a general sense - much like Potter Steward's approach to another subject.

 

For myself it falls into Potter Steward territory too... :-) 

 

p.s. Traditionally "salads" of raw vegetables mixed together with or without a dressing of some sort was not common, and was even avoided, in Chinese cuisines.  Save for garnishes of "sang choy"/lettuce leaves or sliced cucumber, radishes, etc the idea of eating a dish of uncooked vegetables alone was not a common idea.  Nowadays things are changing, of course...  Here's an oldie (but still goodie) article relating the experience of three Szechuanese chefs visiting the USA (and in which the subject of salads and rawness comes up briefly)



#193 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:50 AM

A nice green salad with sauerkraut, beetroot and herbs and topped with some toasted seeds:

 

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#194 patrickamory

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:29 PM

huiray, thanks for linking to that characteristically sharp and thought-provoking article by Fuchsia Dunlop.

 

I could read her till the cows come home. The mirror of cultures that she evokes, along with the very concrete examples of specific dishes and people's reactions to them, make me think hard about my own eating habits and cultural preconceptions.

 

Back to salads!



#195 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 09:16 AM

A golden beet salad with green apple and goat cheese from a few weeks ago.

 

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#196 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:27 PM

Another beet salad, this one with cucumber, feta, and a chive/tarragon/garlic/olive oil/sherry vinegar dressing. Recipe from Russ Parsons' How to Pick a Peach; herbs from the garden.

 

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Edited by FrogPrincesse, 19 June 2014 - 03:29 PM.


#197 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 02:36 PM

More golden beets, this time with fennel and valencia oranges. The oranges were incredibly fragrant, and were probably the best ones I've ever tasted.

 

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#198 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:47 AM

A tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella, French tarragon (grown on my patio), Arbequina olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and plenty of salt & black pepper.

 

14419699418_4e47147737_z.jpg
 

 

 


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#199 FauxPas

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:46 PM

FrogPrincesse, these last few salads look so lovely. Where did you get your tomatoes? I hope they tasted as good as they looked! 

 

What dressing did you use for the golden beet and orange salad just prior to this one? And wondering where you obtained the Valencia oranges that were so tasty. 

 

I have some golden beets to make use of and I like the idea of oranges with them, but it's not really citrus season right now. 



#200 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:53 PM

FrogPrincesse, these last few salads look so lovely. Where did you get your tomatoes? I hope they tasted as good as they looked! 

 

What dressing did you use for the golden beet and orange salad just prior to this one? And wondering where you obtained the Valencia oranges that were so tasty. 

 

I have some golden beets to make use of and I like the idea of oranges with them, but it's not really citrus season right now. 

 

Thanks FauxPas. The tomatoes are from a local farm, Be Wise Ranch, and were obtained through my CSA/Farmers' market box. They are also available at our local Whole Foods and a few other stores. They taste great. I am eating one as I type.

 

The Valencia oranges were also obtained through my CSA a few weeks ago from another local farm, Sundance. They are in season now in California.

 

For the dressing, I used olive oil, lemon juice, the juice from cutting the oranges, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. The salad was inspired by a beet and tangerine salad in Sunday Suppers at Lucques (see here and here). Since I was using fennel, I did not use mint but used the fennel fronds instead, in addition to the thinly sliced fennel bulb (also from my CSA). 

 

We are completely spoiled in San Diego with the local produce, and I do my best to fully take advantage of it! I think it may be some of the best in the country (not to brag, but...).

 

Here is the assortment I got last week to give you an idea. This was $20. 

 

 

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Edited by FrogPrincesse, 08 July 2014 - 10:34 PM.

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#201 FauxPas

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:26 PM

I really enjoy seeing your posts on such a variety of topics and appreciate the time you take to do photos, make links, etc. 

 

Your Sundance link took me to a Kansas horse farm, though. I wonder if this is the right one?:

 

http://www.sundancen...odscompany.com/

 

Citrus growing is interesting to me. We have a very good local grocery chain here on Vancouver Island which has contracted with Buck Brand organic citrus in California and now buys their entire crop. We are still getting some of their fruit but it feels in-between seasons to me. There are better grapefruit than oranges, currently, for example.

 

I have grown some citrus at our place in southern Arizona - Ruby red grapefruit, Cara Cara orange and tangerine. But it's a bit tricky there - summers are so hot and winters can be cold. We lost some of our early trees. I know you grow herbs, maybe veggies, do you have fruit/nut trees yourself? 

 

Here in BC, I have a few hazelnut trees and it's a battle to get them before the deer and the raccoons do. Also, apple trees all around. 

 

All these things are wonderful in salads, as well as cooked dishes. 

 

And yes, that CSA box looks delish! We have several farm markets here, nothing is more than 10 mins away, so we go to them. But for urban living, your situation is heavenly! 

 

And once again, I love seeing your posts and all the wonderful things you do with the bounty you have available! 


Edited by FauxPas, 08 July 2014 - 10:43 PM.


#202 rotuts

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

here:

 

http://forums.egulle...19#entry1976837

 

bottom plate  two salads, nice in the heat :

 

Potato, and 'Bread salad'


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#203 Smithy

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:54 AM

I'm glad to see you have access to Valencia oranges, FrogPrincesse.  I remember them as being wonderfully sweet and juicy - and very convenient since they were available when the Navel oranges had all been picked - but farther north in the San Joaquin Valley they're being replaced because there's no market for them.  Perhaps that trend is beginning to reverse.

 

How did you prepare the golden beets?  I've been exploring beets a bit, and have a couple languishing in the refrigerator (where they probably don't need to be) while I decide what to do with them.  Your salads look like a good option.


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#204 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:13 AM

How did you prepare the golden beets?  I've been exploring beets a bit, and have a couple languishing in the refrigerator (where they probably don't need to be) while I decide what to do with them.  Your salads look like a good option.

 

I prepare them like regular beets - I trim them (leaving about 1/2 inch of the stem), scrub and clean them really well, place them on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap the foil around them, and roast them in the oven at 400F until tender (45 min to 1 hour depending on the size. I test them with a knife if needed.). Then I just peel them when they are cool enough to handle.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 09 July 2014 - 09:14 AM.

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#205 FauxPas

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 06:13 PM

I have the Cuisinart steam oven so I steam-bake the beets in it w/o any foil. 

 

Here is a salad I make frequently at this time of year when we get the fresh local nugget potatoes and local green beans and the tomatoes are good (though not always local). Warm potato salad - steam or steam-bake those lovely little nugget potatoes then add green beans to steam a bit more, some kind of chopped onion and mix together while still hot with some chopped tomatoes and the onion. A bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and top with feta cheese and maybe some green onions. 

 

This alone can be dinner. 

 

IMGP2566.JPG


Edited by FauxPas, 09 July 2014 - 06:14 PM.

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#206 FauxPas

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 07:31 PM

FrogPrincesse (thanks!) got me started on this one - it contains peaches and golden beets, along with butter lettuce, Walla Walla onion, sweet red pepper and goat cheese. Almost everything is local or from nearby. Dressing was comprised of olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh squeezed orange juice, a touch of honey, basil and pepper. 

 

 

 

IMGP2684.JPG


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#207 Smithy

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:40 AM

That's beautiful, FauxPas. I love the napkin, too: it's lovely on its own, and perfect with the salad!
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#208 FauxPas

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:40 AM

Over at Serious Eats, they have a new article on how to make extra-tangy, extra creamy macaroni salad. Once or twice a year I get a craving for a macaroni salad, so thought I'd make use of their tips and I was pleasantly surprised. The extra cooking time and the up-front addition of the vinegar made a difference. Really perked up a simple mac salad.

 

IMGP2947.JPG  


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#209 BeeZee

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:50 AM

Over at Serious Eats, they have a new article on how to make extra-tangy, extra creamy macaroni salad. Once or twice a year I get a craving for a macaroni salad, so thought I'd make use of their tips and I was pleasantly surprised. The extra cooking time and the up-front addition of the vinegar made a difference. Really perked up a simple mac salad.

when I was a kid, my Mom made a macaroni salad with tuna (canned, of course, this was the 70's after all) where you put French dressing on the noodles while still warm (then after it cooled, some sour cream and other stuff was added) as the first step of dressing it. Makes perfect sense.


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#210 HungryChris

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

I like salads and often like to include something like avocado, pickled roasted beets, palm hearts or canned or marinated artichoke hearts. The other day I made my version of chicken mei fun and opened a can of bamboo shoots which I do reluctantly because I usually end up throwing the rest of the can away a few days later. This time I drained the unused shoots and put them in a container with vinegar based salad dressing to cover. The next day I included them in the corn and tomato salad I brought to work for lunch. I love the texture and flavor and will not be throwing  them away again.

 

HC  


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