Monday, July 16, 2018

Salads With Spin

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you're sweltering and uncomfortably hot right now. It's definitely the season for salads.They're easy to make , easy to eat and easy to put you to sleep. It's time to take this summer staple and give it a new spin.

 Home chefs and foodies have been avoiding romaine lettuce since the whole salmonella scare back in April. That's over and it's time to rediscover this tasty leaf.Romaine leaves are used mostly in Caesar salads which is a fine salad. Liven it up with un-traditional- add ins like seared scallops or crumbled bacon.Steak - always good on its' own adds an unami flavor to the mix and makes it more filling. If there's any leftover put it on a hero roll and turn it into a sandwich for the beach or the park.  Wedge salads are making a big  comeback, especially with romaine and iceburg heads. It's a nice alternative to a traditional mixed salad and makes for a filling lunch or dinner. It's quartering the heads and then pouring on the dressing. You want to use a lot of dressing so that it dribbles down into the nooks and crannies , sort of like butter seeping into an English muffin.Top with anything crumbled like bacon or soy bacon , almonds or sunflower seeds. Should any other veggie share the plate with it? Think sliced cherry or grape tomatoes for color and flavor. Another spin is roasting the wedges. Rub oil on them , season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and place on the barbecue, roasting for thirty seconds on each side.

Another spin on salads is adding the fruits of the season. Cherries are in season right now. Those ruby red, rich in flavor gems would be perfect in a salad that features chicken or steak, To emphasize the flavor, you can also make a cherry infused  vinaigrette. Use Bing cherries , mix them with oil and apple cider vinegar and pinches of rosemary, garlic and allspice. Strawberries, good on their own, add a sweetness to a grilled chicken salad. Combine the two with red onions and almonds with torn romaine leaves as the base. You can try a peach version subbing in mixed spring greens  for the romaine. A fun variation is combining the peaches with cut nectarines.Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants and flavor. Imagine adding them to any salad. Combine them with a creamy feta cheese to balance the fruity flavor. Greens don't have total domain over salad. A refreshing one is a Neopolitan bread salad which pairs cubes of Italian bread with sliced vine ripe tomatoes.Bathe in olive oil infused with mashed garlic and basil leaves. For more bite toss in sliced red tomatoes.Broccoli and string beans make for excellent salad bases Sliced ham and shredded cheddar pair well with the first, although just a plain broccoli salad with garlic is a nice lunch. Add chopped onions to the string beans for a refreshing break from the usual mixed greens. Corn salad is both fun and tasty. It can be combined with all sorts of ingredients for a cool meal.

Liven up salads with meats and fruits for a refreshing new spin. They give a summer classic more zing and flavor. Try them for a tasty hot weather lunch or dinner.

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