Salad, Two Ways

photo 3I’m always trying to come up with more interesting salads. Sometimes I’ll think about every ingredient and what each one adds to the salad be it a crunchy texture, salty bite, or burst of fresh acidity. Other times I take ‘the more the merrier’ approach to the salad and toss everything imaginable into the bowl not caring that it has green onions and roasted red onions.

I record my salads by writing out the list of ingredients on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, and bottoms of grocery lists. I literally have tens (I wanted to write thousands instead of tens, but that would a gross exaggeration!) of these salad lists. Sometimes I name the salad; other times I don’t. Same goes for the dressing. I either do a special creation to compliment the salad’s components or my signature garlic dijon vinaigrette. Sometimes, if I’m making the salad for myself, I don’t use any dressing — crazy, right?!

Below I’m sharing two recent salads. Note that I don’t include the amount of each ingredient. This is on purpose. Alter the quantity based on how many people you are serving. The first salad I’m dying to make again. It’s full of Italian favors and lots of antipasto ingredients. The dressing base is Ina Garten’s basil parmesan mayonnaise which I’m currently obsessed with. I’ve made it twice and a third time with rosemary instead of basil. Totally bomb!

The second salad was born out of the need to clean out the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. Sometimes you gotta throw it all in there! As long as there is the aforementioned texture, bite, and acidity, you’ll be in for a treat.

photo 2Italian Antipasto Salad

Lemon halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fennel, thinly sliced on a mandoline
Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Kidney beans
Pepperoncini slices
Basil, roughly chopped
Shallot, thinly sliced
Roasted red pepper, diced

Parmesan Dressing (made with 1:3 ratio of Ina’s parmesan basil mayonnaise whisked with olive oil)

Start by tossing the arugula with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and a little of the dressing. Toss to coat. To serve, mound the arugula onto a large round platter and top with the antipasto mixture. Drizzle some of the dressing over the top of the arugula and enjoy!

photo 1Deli Salad

Mixed greens
Roasted quartered mushrooms
Roasted broccoli florets
Tomato, diced
Roasted red pepper, diced
Garbanzo beans
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Deli turkey, julienned

Dijon vinaigrette

Combine all of the ingredients in an extra large bowl and toss well to combine. Enjoy immediately.

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