Saturday, May 22, 2010

Can I call this post "Salad Saturday" and not sound silly?

Well, I'll just be silly then. Here is a mini post for the weekend to make up for the post I missed last week. Hopefully I'll be at Pepper Place soon hunting for fruit for an ice cream I am going to make this week!

For the longest time, if I purchased salad stuff the list looked something like this...

Bagged Salad

Don't get me wrong, if you are eating any kind of salad, you should feel good about yourself. [Except for those weird people who make ranch dressing soup with a lettuce garnish, in that instance, you should feel nothing but shame and remorse.] But that salad is the same salad that gets served at most mom and pop restaurants across America and it's no wonder so many of us have the shrug the shoulders response about salads.

While I am no Frank Stitt, honey, I have recently started eating and making some very yummy salads. Leaps and bounds beyond my boring bagged salad and crouton concoctions. The ones that have the greatest success with Dennis are the ones with fruit. Combos include....

Strawberries, Feta, Pecans
Shredded Carrots, Raisins, Pecans
Blackberries, Blue Cheese, Pecans
Mandarin Oranges, Red Onion, Blue Cheese, Pecans

I usually either use romaine or something from my Grow Alabama box. I use Pecans cause they are cheap at the grocery store and are easily found in your backyard (but you can easily upgrade to walnuts for a few extra dollars a week). Now what really takes these salads from good to tasty is the dressing recipe I have been using. Maple Mustard Vinaigrette from Eating Well Serves Two. Since I am on a budget I use molasses instead of maple syrup with great success. (If you know where I can find Alabama molasses, please let me know). I've put it on salads, dipped sandwiches in it, and marinated meat in it. It also lead me to use dijon and molasses to stir into some mayo to put on a grilled ham and cheese (yummy). This dressing is good, cheap, and takes like a minute to mix up. Put that ranch away!

Now on to master the warm bacon vinaigrette I had at Zink while in Charlotte.

Note: Spray your measuring cup with oil before you pour the syrup inside. This will let it all slide right out with ease.

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Whisk 1/4 cup walnut (or canola) oil, 2 tablespoons each maple syrup and cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon each course-grain mustard and reduced-sodium soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper in a small bowl.

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