Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fooding: Why I tend to only make salads

I don't cook a lot because I often do not have very much time, or it seems unnecessary to cook a lot of food for only two of us.  And since practice makes improvement, I am also not very talented.  I also don't cook meat usually, because I can't stand touching it and I make sure there is absolutely no moisture left before serving it.  And so, my one true skill is salads.

I love making salads because they are so versatile, and it is usually something good that I can bring to a large gathering as well.  The picture above is of yesterday's dining on the patio, made of herb salad mixture, grape tomatoes, fresh corn off the cob, shaved black pepper parmesan, and of course, a French vinaigrette.  Summer in a bowl!

French vinaigrette is the key to awesome salads, and it is what they put on basically every salad in France.  There is no thousand island dressing to be found in the land of gourmet food, and that is good because it makes all of the other salad dressings embarrassed to be in the same food category.

Here are your necessary ingredients for incredible vinaigrette:
  • Olive Oil
  • Vinegar - Sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar is ok)
  • Mustard - choose Dijon, preferably from France
  • Shallots - finely chopped
  • Lemon - squirt of real lemon
  • Pinch of salt, and fresh cracked black pepper
I am not giving you how much of each, because I am sure that you can make good life choices based on how much salad you are making.  Also, it is half the fun to feel like you know what you are doing by not measuring.

People often ask where I got the recipe for the salad that I made, and I say, in my head.  You can just put together components that are tasty together, and then decide on a complementary dressing.  Here are some other good salads:
  • Spinach, pomegranate seeds, pear slices, green onion, feta cheese, vinaigrette
  • Romaine or red leaf lettuce, apples, grapes, dried cranberries, shallots, parmesan, poppy seed dressing
  • Arugula/spring mix, avocado, tomatoes, chevre goat cheese, bacon, vinaigrette

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