a wise man for the salt,
a madman for the pepper,
a miser for the vinegar,
and a spendthrift for the oil.” ~ unknown
Because I was looking forward to warmer weather and daily meals of salads with local fresh ingredients, I started re-reading the salad recipe section ofthe book that I won back in December from Culinary Cory, Cooking School Secrets for the Real World by Linda Carucci. This book is filled with not only beautiful and delicious recipes, but the content that I enjoy the most are the secrets and special tips that can turn a simple recipe in to something fabulous.
I wanted to pass on to all of you some of the tips from this wonderful book, today we will talks salads. Here are some of Ms. Carucci’s "Secrets for successful salads”.
Peel the rounded side of the outer stalks of celery before slicing. Then slice the stalks on the diagonal. You will remove the strings that get caught in your teeth and the celery will have a more delicate flavor, but retains the sweet crunch.
The secret to keeping white cheese white in salads is to make a salad dressing with white wine, champagne, white balsamic vinegars or citrus juice. This dressing won’t stain the cheese brown the way red wine vinegars do, and your plating and presentation of your salad will be much
more appetizing and appealing.
Slice red onions very thin with a Mandoline or your sharpest and thinnest knife.
The soak the slices in ice cold water for 5-10 minutes. Drain and pat dry before adding to the salad. The cold water leaches out the harsh sulfur flavor and also crisps the onion.
Among another of its legendary attributes, the unique shape of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt crystals helps lettuce from wilting in a salad. Other Kosher salts cannot claim this virtue.
This tip was so utterly simple that solved a question that has haunted me for years…
How do you know how much salad dressing to use?
Toss the salad greens with just enough dressing to coat them lightly using your hands gives you the feel for how well the dressing coats the salad. This way there is no pool of dressing in the bottom of the bowl to wilt the salad and overwhelm the ingredients.
Once the greens are lightly coated, add the remaining ingredients.
To preserve the delicate texture of fresh tomatoes, store in a cool place in the kitchen...but never, ever in the refrigerator.
I hope that these simple tips will help you to prepare your salads in a way to help your wonderful, fresh ingredients sing in harmony.
In the next post, I will share my newest favorite ingredient in the salad world and a few healthful but tasty recipes for you to try while we are awaiting the first days of spring.