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Salad


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193 replies to this topic

#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 Yesterday, 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 Yesterday, 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!