My father and I are believers that a meal is not complete without a salad. I grew up in the kitchen with my parents and most of the time I was in charge of preparing the evening salad. To this day, I still make the salad when I’m home.
Around this time of year we tend to get bored with salads. Seriously, you can only eat so many of them in this cold weather and they can get redundant if you only use tomatoes and cucumbers (especially since you can’t find any good ones). I went to the market this weekend looking for a few extra treats to add to our Saturday night salads. I found some small beets which I roasted in just a touch of olive oil (Put them whole into aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 for about an hour or until a knife goes through easily. Peal and cut!). The beets combined well with the grapefruit I’m still eating from my trip to Florida and an avocado from the Super G Mart. I dusted the entire salad with good Pecorino Romano cheese before serving. I loved this combination!
I made a quick lemon vinaigrette with salt, pepper, sugar, minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. I make this dressing to taste – less lemon depending on how tart the fruit is and a touch more sugar to make the balance correct. If you have sweeter things on your salads – dried fruits or candied nuts – I add more lemon and less sugar. It’s all about experimenting. Whisk away – dip a leaf of lettuce to taste and adjust until it is right! Also, don’t drown your leaves – this is something I still work on. You only need a light amount of vinaigrette on lettuce leaves or they will become too heavy and wet.
Enjoy challenging yourself to get creative with salads this winter! I’ll try to post some new ideas as I test ideas too!