Monday, October 16, 2006
The Art of Salad (as explained in a very bossy and opiniated way)
So I can't believe I haven't mentioned Judith previously. She and I work together, and she is a badass - a woman of many talents. And she's probably the biggest fan of my cooking. And I love to cook for her, because of course one huge part of cooking is sharing it, and she makes such a damn appreciative audience.
And I guess the performer in me enjoys creating for an audience (she writes in the third person: "could she secretly have burned the microwave popcorn because she was feeling a wee bit neglected??).
But I digress.
Anyway - I made such a fine Fall salad for Judith and I today, and she loved it, and so did I. And so will you:
Prepare the greens - mix some nice red leaf lettuce (or better yet, red oak) with a generous few handfuls of arugula.
Toast a good tablespoon of pine nuts in a dry skillet. Toast, don't burn!
Sprinkle the pine nuts over the greens. Sprinkle, don't dump them carelessly!
Crumble a nice portion of Maytag blue cheese and set it aside.
Now make the dressing:
Finely chop a good little chunk of shallot.
Combine it with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 fat teaspoon dijon mustard and a bit of salt. Some like it salty.
Now stop daydreaming; we are almost done. Thinly slice a ripe red Barlett pear and put that in the salad. Now add a sprinkling of currants and toss with just enough dressing to coat the ingredients. Coat, not drown!
This reminds me. Part of the inspiration for starting this blog was over my obsession with the perfect salad, so the essentials beg repeating:
Spin your salad greens good and pat them dry with a paper towel. A wet salad is a sad salad!
ALWÅYS toss your salad.
DON'T put the salad on the plate and then just spoon the dressing over it.
A lightly dressed salad is a happy salad!
See? It's not that hard.
And now back to today's dish. Now that you've tossed your salad ever so perfectly, top it with the blue cheese and garlic croutons (I dig Semi-freddi's). Don't forget a nice coarse grind of fresh ground black pepper. Mmm...now go enjoy it with your favorite badass.