Salads

Salads

By
Margaret Fulton
Contains
23 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740669269
Photographer
Geoff Lung

Salads

We all have an instinctive need to eat fresh greens. Salads provide that wonderful feeling of sunshine. It may be a simple salad of carefully selected and prepared greens dressed with a good olive oil, a good vinegar, salt and a grinding of pepper. Or, there are times when an elaborate salad of luscious and varied seafood, rare roast beef or perfectly poached chicken fits the bill. There is hardly an edible food that cannot be made into a salad, but it is worth using only the best.

Today the search is on for a wide variety of greens. There’s a choice of mignonette, oak-leaf, coral, tiny corn salad (also known as lamb’s lettuce or mache), watercress, witlof, rocket, escarole or frisée. fresh garden herbs also add interest and distinction to salads.

Take the time to see what’s available at the supermarket. You will be amazed at the wide range of oils, vinegars, mustards, anchovies and canned goods that can make your salads a standout success.

A good salad needs the subtle attention to detail that a chef devotes to a classic recipe. Here are some pointers:

Choose fresh and crisp greens and ripe, plump, fruits with no blemishes. Fruits should not be washed until ready to use.

Before using, wash salad vegetables in plenty of water. Rinse well to get rid of any grit or earth. Dry in a salad spinner or shake in a large tea towel. Place in plastic bags and chill in a refrigerator crisper.

Fresh herbs, cress, parsley, garlic and seasonings all help a salad.

Keep a special bowl and servers exclusively for salads, a stainless knife with a special cutting blade, and a plastic or stainless steel whisk for dressings.

Tear your lettuce leaves and other greens – do not cut. Tomatoes cut vertically instead of horizontally tend to bleed less. To peel tomatoes, blanch by dropping them in boiling water for 10–20 seconds (depending on ripeness), then into iced water, until cooled. Slip off the skins, then cut into wedges or slice.

All salads should have that fresh, light and bouffant ‘just made’ look. It’s important to remember that crisp salad vegetables droop if mixed too far ahead of serving so try and do it at the last minute.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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