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eGCI Team

Q&A: Leaf Salads

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torakris   

I loved this class!

I can't wait to try some of them especially the last one with the chicken livers.

One quick question, is a dessert spoon equal to 2 teaspoons? (I think I remember reading that somewhere....)


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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MArkF   

Are there any hard rules of mixing too many different leaves into a salad or does one let the pallet be the guide. The reason for this question is due to eating at a locl resturant and being served a tossed leaf salad that had more things in it that I could count. Was kinda overwhelming.....

Mark

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I think this is down to personal taste. The course represents my style which tends towards keeping things clear and simple. But as long as you maintain the balance of the dish then you are fine. However, I would question the necessity of mixing a large number of different types of leaves.

I think there is more impact to be gained from building a dish around just one leaf, or a combination of 2 or 3, than a whole series of what might only be incrementaly different types of leaf. Why make you life any more difficult that it has to be?

Its also worth remebering that unless we are talking just about a green salad, you are trying to maintain balance and achieve contrast with other ingredients in the salad, and you will have more chance of being successful in that aim if you limit the number of leaves you choose to use.

And of course that holds true for the the dressing; its far easier to match one leaf to any given oil or vinegar you select than have a large number to try and keep happy.

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Mottmott   

I also like your approach of drizzling the dressing on some of the salads rather than making up a vinaigrette to coat every inch of every leaf, etc. I like discreet bursts of taste.


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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sequim   

I was so happy to see the chicken livers in the one salad because I recently discovered how good they are in a salad. It was a revelation of taste.

I actually enjoy salads with a multitude of different baby greens and having a different taste in each bite which links through the vinaigrette.

But I love salads and always looking for new combinations.

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I think there is more impact to be gained from building a dish around just one leaf, or a combination of 2 or 3, than a whole series of what might only be incrementaly different types of leaf. Why make you life any more difficult that it has to be?

But, when one has leapt out into one's own garden, and picked a handful of mixed very baby greens, variety can be a good thing. That may have to do more with the emotions than anything else.

If it's not out of my own garden, I'm more apt to use only one kind of green.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Dana   

The plate presentation in the photos is very interesting to me. Salad ingredients strewn all over the plate in a single layer is very different than salads I am used to seeing. Was that intentional to showcase the individual components or is that the normal way they are served in the UK?

I love an element of sweetness in a salad - the carmelized apples, etc. I often add 'trail mix' to a salad simple lettuce salad. The touch sweetness from the raisins, dried cranberries and nuts really make a salad sing.


Stop Family Violence

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The plate presentation in the photos is very interesting to me. Salad ingredients strewn all over the plate in a single layer is very different than salads I am used to seeing. Was that intentional to showcase the individual components or is that the normal way they are served in the UK?

The vegetable salad was presented in a manner similar to that of chef Bruce Poole when he served it at his London restaurant Chez Bruce (as an aside, Bruce told me that he couldn't afford to keep the dish on his menu, which is set price. That's an indication of how much good young veg costs these days!).

The eggs, anchovy and leek salad was done "a la minute" and was sort of inspired by watching a Pierre Gagnaire DVD a few nights before. Although there is certainly no direct correlation between the food I saw him prepare and what I have done, it was that improvisational feel I wanted to replicate. I have to say that I don't think it was a very successful experiment on my part and that in addition my photographic efforts were rather poor. It is however an excellent dish and I wish I could have done Bruce's recipe justice.

In terms of how salads are usually presented, you are more likely to see them mounded up in the centre of a plate than the methods I have used.

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divina   

I am an AMerican living in Italy for 20 years now, so am in my own little world.

Is Belgium endive called Chicory??? or was it used instead of chicory?

In Rome especially they have a chicory for salads, that has long leafy greens on the outside, but thick white asparagus type fingers on the inside, the clean this and slice it into tiny thin slices and dress it wiht anchovy, lemon juice and oil.

I am sure there are many types of chicory, but I know often English English and AMerican English differ..

I had a recipe published in a cookbook in England, and when I saw the foto of the finished product I was surprised ..asn it wasn't my cookie! I had specified powdered sugar.. and they used granulated..

I may need am English American dictionary! :rolleyes:

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In his new book "How To Cook Better", Shaun Hill says:

"In France...chicory is a curly-leafed winter salad ingredient also called Batavia. That which in Britian we call chicory is known as endive. Botanical Latin is no help, designating the whole family Cichorium endivia."

I have used belgian endive (ie chicory) in the recipe, also known as witloof by the Belgians!

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...tm...   

My understanding is that chicory and endive are the same plant, but the green, leafy chicory is the regular growth and endive is the second growth of the bud, usually under low-light conditions.

After looking it up, this seems right--this site has some interesting facts. And it cleared up the mystery of chicory in coffee for me too. Apparently it used to be a coffee substitute. Funny that these days Cafe du Monde is much more expensive that pure, unadulterated beans.

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Marlene   

All of the recipes in the Leaf Salads course are collected in RecipeGullet, with a link back to the course in the introduction of each recipe for easy reference.

:smile:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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What do you think of the following ingredients for a salad? Would they all go together?

Assorted Greens and herbs

Tomato Confit with some garlic (slightly salty, not too sour)

Candied Cashews (sweet and crunchy)

Citrus (mandarin or some lime) (sour and soft)

Balsamic Vinaigrette (sour and slightly salty)

Soft white cheese (soft ad creamy)

caramelized pears or apples (sweet and crunchy)

fine julienned carrots

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As for removing stems and stalks, how much stalk do you recommend removing from watercress? Where I shop, it's sold in bunches with 2-3 inches of thick stalk with no leaves below 3-4 inches of thinner stalks with spaced round leaves. Should I remove only the big stalks? Painstakingly pull each leaf off the stalk? Remove the big part of the stalk and chop the tops? I find that removing only the bottoms leaves me (sorry! :raz:) with a salad that you need a knife to eat.

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What do you think of the following ingredients for a salad?  Would they all go together?

Assorted Greens and herbs

Tomato Confit with some garlic (slightly salty, not too sour)

Candied Cashews (sweet and crunchy)

Citrus (mandarin or some lime) (sour and soft)

Balsamic Vinaigrette (sour and slightly salty)

Soft white cheese (soft ad creamy)

caramelized pears or apples (sweet and crunchy)

fine julienned carrots

My first impression is that you've got way too much going on there and it's a giant confusion. I also wouldn't classify caramelized apples as crunchy, they're definately soft. Apart from the greens, I would pick 3 at most of these as a salad.

Cashews & pear would be great, tomato confit and cheese, apples, carrots and mandarin would work...


PS: I am a guy.

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KarenDW   

Hi Michael.

I usually break off all the thick stems, then pull the "larger" leaves off the stalk. Then I break the tops into small clusters, the size of which "I'd like to see on my dining companion's fork" (LOL). i.e., small enough to fit into a small mouth without cutting with a knife.

I use the same size guideline for most salads, unless a specific plating is wanted.

Hope this helps.

Karen

As for removing stems and stalks, how much stalk do you recommend removing from watercress?  Where I shop, it's sold in bunches with 2-3 inches of thick stalk with no leaves below 3-4 inches of thinner stalks with spaced round leaves.  Should I remove only the big stalks?  Painstakingly pull each leaf off the stalk?  Remove the big part of the stalk and chop the tops?  I find that removing only the bottoms leaves me (sorry!  :raz:) with a salad that you need a knife to eat.


Karen Dar Woon

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