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Composed Salads--Cook-Off 12


Chris Amirault
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Here's a salad that my girlfriend enjoyed in Lausanne, Switzerland last winter. It's more akin to the $20 salad but beautiful nonetheless:

Ingredients (or best guesses):

warm goat cheese

toast

sesame seeds

honey

lentils

pear

plum

strawberry

tomato (3)

sunflower seeds

hazlenut

wheat berry

pumpkin seed

red pepper sauce

raspberry vinaigrette

olive paste

curry nut sauce

cardamon/qaram masala

marinated pear

mixed greens

gallery_2_4_8059.jpg

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)
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It's interesting to read this thread: I've never heard of "composed salad", so I'm learning something new. I made this before, though - does it qualify?

Prosciuttocopy1-vi.jpg

Layers of Parma ham, mozzarella, tomatoes, boiled eggs, roasted bell peppers. All the ingredients are so simple that they must be freshest, preferably organic. Including fresh herb, extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette.

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Dinner last night:

gallery_25849_641_27904.jpg

Carrots, lettuce, yellow pepper, cucumber, chicken that was marinated in a hoisin, soy, garlic, ginger, sesame mix and grilled, suey chow and sugar snaps. Dressing was hoisin, soy, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, fresh garlic and ginger, ground peanuts and green onions. Tasty.

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I'm not sure if this counts as a composed salad or not - my husband thinks it is just a nice arrangement of vegetables. But this was served at room temperature and has an herb dressing on top. How do you draw the line between vegetable side dish and salad?

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I'll have to try again next week for a real salad. :)

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These are certainly all composed salads, as far as I can tell. They conform to the definitions above, surely! And they're beautiful!

What sorts of dressings are people using? Share -- and post your best on RecipeGullet!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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For today's salad I used the leftovers from a tarragon roasted chicken.

Shredded chicken, mixed with mustard, mayo and more fresh tarragon. On some lettuce, together with hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, roast red onions, and crispy bacon. Because I felt like relaxed eating, where you just have a plate in front of you to finish, I made individual salads (sometimes even deciding what to pick up from a large platter can be too stressfull on a friday night :raz: )

saladekip.jpg

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I went traditional - Cobb Salad.  But as I was uploading my picture I shouted, "Damn I forgot the hard boiled eggs!!!"

Dude, you inspired me...

For some reason, what you said never registered with me -- but I DID notice that there were no hard-boiled eggs in your Cobb salad... I figured hey, maybe he doesn't like it. It's not as if you have to totally follow the recipe, anyhow. Right.

Then, as I sat there, it just dawned on me -- I forgot the blue freakin' cheese! Argh! I mean, the salad is fine without eggs I'm sure, but the cheese, that lovely blue cheese, that brings a LOT to it.

D'oh!

Oh well...

gallery_28832_1591_32839.jpg

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That Cobb Salad inspired me too - looks like the perfect end-of-winter salad for our family now in New Zealand!

As for dressings, I tend to dress each item or group of items separately and then arrange them, as I often don't want a huge pool of dressing on the bottom of the plate. A sparing drizzle to finish is all that's needed!

Conversely, I like the idea of putting the dressing down first and then layering over it. Would work well over a bed of hummus too....

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The other night, we had Salad Nicoise

gallery_6263_35_33887.jpg

Several comments:

Chris, somewhere upthread, you mentioned an "unbalance" with the dressing. I use a dressing with lemon juice, not vinegar, on this particular salad, and dress the beans and potatoes while warm. Perhaps you should try this.

The salad was plated with the assistance of two boys, one 4 and one 9 years of ages.

I used olive oil packed tuna. I had one can and one packet that was one of those vaccuum packed packets. The vaccuum packed stuff was crap.

But, we enjoyed this salad. Eaten on the deck. Accompanied by cold beer and lemonade.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...
Chris, somewhere upthread, you mentioned an "unbalance" with the dressing.  I use a dressing with lemon juice, not vinegar, on this particular salad, and dress the beans and potatoes while warm.  Perhaps you should try this.

I've seen this tip before, and it really works, especially with the potatoes.

On another note, what do people think we should do for the next cook-off? Let's gather some good ideas here!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I think it should be something involving the remainder of the summer harvest, to use up tomatoes, zucchinis, etc.

How about some sort of stuffed fresh pasta thread? Like raviolis? Manicotti?

Or perhaps a slight return of Pizza, in Foccacia form?

Jason Perlow, Co-Founder eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

Foodies who Review South Florida (Facebook) | offthebroiler.com - Food Blog (archived) | View my food photos on Instagram

Twittter: @jperlow | Mastodon @jperlow@journa.host

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I think it should be something involving the remainder of the summer harvest, to use up tomatoes, zucchinis, etc.

How about some sort of stuffed fresh pasta thread? Like raviolis? Manicotti?

Or perhaps a slight return of Pizza, in Foccacia form?

I've looked at the eGCI course on stuffed pastas but still not tried it. A stuffed pasta thread might be just the ticket for getting me off my duff to try it. Gets my vote.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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How about some sort of stuffed fresh pasta thread? Like raviolis? Manicotti?

I've been thinking about fresh pasta as a cookoff.

Can I suggest gnocchi?

That's a good idea, too. I've never made homemade. :shock:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'd love it if we had a cook-off to help use up my tomatoes. I've got over a dozen monster sized tomatoes on my counter right now. Many more ripening. There's only so much tomato phyllo pizza one can make!

I just made two jars of sweet tomato chutney. Lasts for months and especially nice in the winter when you want something bright. I also make and freeze sauce. Basically I never met a tomato I didn't eat. :smile:

edit: how about a canning and pickling cookoff? I also just made eggplant pickles, but I need to do something with green beans.

*technically I participated in the salad cookoff, that's basically most of what we eat on summer worknights:

Tonight: roasted golden beet, wax bean, tomato, olive, goat cheese

Last week: Nicoise

Week before last: Spanish style: hard-boiled egg, roasted red pepper, olive, potato, tuna

etc.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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I'm not sure if we are still doing composed salads, but I'm going back there anyway. I think a green composed salad generally is a single serving spectacular so that each person can enjoy the artistry of the dish. If it is on a large platter, it will soon be destroyed.

Layered salads are those 7 layer type salads with all the ingredients on top of each other and served in a glass bowl so you can enjoy the different colors and textures -- generally another category. (Do you think a Cobb salad is a horizontal version of a layered salad?)

My favorite composed salad is a bed of Boston lettuce with a jumbo shrimp, a few beautifully steamed asparagus and quarters of small sized tomatoes. I think you are supposed to use a single dressing but I do mine separately -- a seafood sauce dressing with the shrimp and vinegar and olive oil with the rest.

Whatever you call them, these salads look delicious! Thanks for the great ideas.

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My family loves salads but I have never been a big fan of them. So I don't make them nearly as often as they would like me too.  Here are a few that I have made in the past....

WOW!

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

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Both stuffed pasta and gnocchi are great ideas for the next cook-off.

I'm making ravioli this week so stuffed pasta would suit me very well.. :biggrin:

but, I recently made some spinach gnocchi that turned out rather heavy, so it would be nice to learn how to make light and fluffy gnocchi. Also, I just love to say the word gnocchi and welcome any opportunity to say it as often as I can. Gnocchi.. :wub:

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