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Fat Guy

Salad (2011 - 2015)

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Nice-looking green papaya salad.

Last night I made a salad of fennel, Moro blood oranges, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, based on a recipe by Mario Batali. I drizzled a little bit of Eureka lemon infused olive oil on top for an extra burst of flavor.

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Salad for my housemates a few days ago; lettuces, tomato, cucumber, olives, goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto.

 

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Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)

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Every now and then there is a truley beautiful post and this is one of them in my view! The images are inspiring and show a wealth of talent. I will definitely be trying some of these ideas. A couple of days ago I visited a friend who'd made a beautiful Niscoise salad for lunch. We ate ouside, high on a hill overlooking the sea and even though the Autumn weather was cool it felt like being transported to the Italian coast.

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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?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

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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 (log)

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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... :-) 

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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 (log)

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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.).

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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.

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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.  


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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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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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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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.

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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:

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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)

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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!

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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. 

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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 (log)
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