Something More Than a Salad - The Chef's Cooking School

Something More Than a Salad

A delicious plated salad

It is hard not to love a good salad, a bed of greens with some roasted vegetables, maybe some meats hot or cold, add a compliment of cheese and some nice kalamata olives. All of this is veiled by a delicious dressing, maybe Italian, or balsamic. Have a nice slice of homemade ciabatta. Wow, hard to top that, maybe a bowl of delicious French onion soup to go with it.

To make any of these dressings you should consider buying an immersion blender. These blenders are great to make a vinaigrette, puree soups and to make shakes and smoothies. To get your immersion blender today, simply click here; it helps pay the lights, Thank-You.

A salad is comprised of several fresh ingredients coming together in a mixture of fresh produce, raw and possibly cooked, which can be combined with proteins hot or cold, and starches like potato, pasta or rice.

3 kinds of salads

Simple Salad: made up of a base, body, dressing and garnish. This is the most basic form of a salad. There is the least amount of preparations involved to the components going into the salad. They tend to be clean, crisp and simple.

Compound Salad: this is a salad composed of a combination of fresh ingredients, combined to form a salad. They may consist of pasta, vegetables, and meat, dressing, roasted meats or deli meats and vegetables and some form of dressing.

Composed Salad – think symphony, a composition of artists, all unique and beautiful but separate and independent too. In this case, symphony of flavors or ingredients. Essentially the plate is broken up into the flavor, color and ingredients yet coming together on one dish.

Salad Recipes

This first salad here works well with other components to make a composed salad. The rich flavor of kalamata olives with roasted peppers, delicious. I like to build a Mediterranean Antipasto with this Olive Salad, Soppressata Salad, Grilled Artichoke and Calamari Salad. Throw a wedge of aged provolone and  you have a light, healthy delicious either salad or appetizer. 

Kalamata Olive Salad
Light, refreshing and yet rich in olive flavor
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A bowl of jumbo pitted kalamata olives ready for the Kalamata Olive Salad

This Classic Salad was often done as a table-side feature, much like they do table-side guacamole at a nice Mexican restaurant. The waiter or chef would come to the table and in a wooden bowl add mustard, garlic and anchovies and grind them all together. They would then separate an egg and add an egg yolk to the bowl, whisk together and drizzle some oil as they whisk. Then a small amount of lemon juice and champagne vinegar. The dressing would be tossed with Romaine lettuce, then plated and topped with Parmesan cheese, if you were a fan an anchovy or two, with some home style croutons. A true favorite even today is this salad.

Caesar Dressing
One of the classic salads of all time. A personal favorite, clean crisp romaine touched by this creamy caesar, delicious.
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A bowl of creamy Caesar Dressing

This salad could actually double as the filling for a great panini sandwich. Soppressatta with hard cheese, roasted peppers, throw in a kalamata olive or two and you have one great Italian panini. However just as delicious is this tasty Salami Salad.  I like to build a Mediterranean Antipasto with this Olive Salad, Soppressata Salad, Grilled Artichoke and Calamari Salad. Throw a wedge of aged provolone and  you have a light, healthy delicious either salad or appetizer. 

Soppressata Salad
This salad and makes antipasto smile as they feature this delicious, rich, fresh salad made with cured salami or soppressata
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Fresh cut soppressata for a Soppressata Salad

Some select vegetables, marinated and then grilled or roasted and combined with grilled or roasted artichokes. The vegetables can either all be served together or kept separately to offer choice. If kept separately you actually get some bright bold colors for a very attractive salad over a bed of greens.

Grilled Artichoke salad
Artichokes, even canned, are a nice compliment to many dishes. Here they are the feature in this salad as they act as a proponent of the ingredients
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A healthy bowl of artichokes for the Grilled Artichoke Salad

Light refreshing, be cautious when you cook your calamari not to over cook it because they become chewy then. If this is cooked properly you will end with a tender calamari which is then seasoned slightly with citrus flavored dressing.

Calamari Salad
Calamari, if done properly, is a subtle taste that goes with a number of complimentary flavors.  Here calamari is featured in a salad, light fresh.
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A plate of marinated squid tentacles for Calamari Salad.

Michael Davis

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