Saturday, March 24, 2012

Plain old salad?

The lovely part about salad as a food category is that it can be so many things. It can cooperate with such a diversity of food types. I tend to make the same salad over and over again because, well, it's my go-to salad I suppose. But often when in a salad mood I crave a little bowl of different salad.

This usually entails a different type of main ingredient- red lettuce or maybe a cabbage. Endive. Instead of my standard romaine. Red cabbage always appeals to me. I like that you can usually find a small head of cabbage, it's inexpensive, and it lasts in the fridge for a long time- you can cut off a section, put a slightly damp papertowel over the exposed section of the cabbage, put it in a ziplock or plastic wrap, and it's good to go. I also love the weight that red cabbage gives as the base of a salad. It has a heavier density, so it gives the salad a nice hefty crunch.

So I was in the mood for salad- it's spring, right? I had a head of purple cabbage that I cut a section off of, and sliced it up thinly, and a variety of other stuff in the fridge- a little romaine lettuce, some sprouts, a plum tomato. I looked up a recipe for a simple vinaigrette, and adapted it to match what I had in the cabinet, and the smaller quantity I wanted to make. I minced a clove of garlic and then crushed it with the flat of the knife. I like this method for preparing garlic for dressings because it breaks down the garlic similarly to when you put the garlic through a press, but it find it mixes in a bit better than pressed. But I digress, pressed works just fine! Much like Kitty does, I save glass jars and re-use them, oftentimes as drinking glasses, but if you save the lids, you can also use them to save leftover chipotles, or tomato paste (for example) that you might not use in a single recipe. You can also use a glass jar for a salad dressing, and I just happened to have a spice jar that had held bay leaves, so I put the garlic in there. I added about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and about 1.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. I added about 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, and a couple of pinches each of pepper and salt. I put the lid on the little spice jar, and shook it up.

If you have a shallot on hand, you can use that instead of the garlic. I might use 1/2 a clove of garlic if you're not as much a fan of garlic. Keep in mind that it's raw, so it's strong. The salad was delicious and just what I was in the mood for. Cabbage as the base of a salad gives you some more to chew on than regular lettuce, which I enjoy very much.

Happy spring everyone! You can put just about anything into a salad, so get to the farmer's market, grab those spring veggies, and get to it!

1 comment:

  1. This looks delish! I bet in summer an avocado would go great.