Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Bistro Salad

When people say that salads are not delicious, it's because they don't know how to make one. You aren't supposed to just cut lettuce and splash some salad dressing. C'mon people...

A great salad is one that people dream about and crave. Satisfying to the tastebuds with tons of texture. Not only that but it is highly nutritious too. The ultimate salad needs to have elements of crunchiness like nuts as well as soft ingredients such as tomatoes and beets with more flavor like salami, ham, and cheese.

Delicious Bistro Salad
Prep Time: 20 min
romaine lettuce
just a handful of walnuts (chopped)
1 slice ham (diced)
8 oz or 2 baby beets (chopped)
2-4 slices of salami (diced...a little goes a looong way)
1 roma tomato (diced)
2-3 oz cheese (sliced, cut into small pieces)

sunflower seeds (optional)
fresh ground pepper
salad dressing of your choice

Servings: 2 big salads or 4 small ones.

There's a lot of chopping involved. If you have choppers, you can prepare this salad faster but I just use a cutting board with a small knife.

Grab a big bowl for tossing everything together.

Start by cutting the romaine lettuce (or other lettuce of your choice).

I tend to prepare my salad by adding the dry ingredients first followed by ingredients of increasing moisture (tomatoes are last). 

Then add the walnuts and cheese. Throw all the other ingredients into the bowl when you are done chopping except for the bottom three ingredients.

Add two to three tablespoons of salad dressing. Toss your salad well. Plate the creation.
Top the salad by sprinkling sunflower seeds on top and fresh ground pepper.


If you wish to make your own dressing, lemon viniagrette is easy.
Did you know that lemon vinaigrette does not contain any vinegar? *chuckle*
Just mix all the ingredients. Refrigerate the unused dressing for next time (Use within a month).

Lemon Vinaigrette
Yield: 1/4 cup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper

Cheese - My current favorite is the Toscano Cheese soaked in TJ (Trader Joe's) Syrah. Other similar tasting cheeses are Manchego and Iberico. I adore Spanish Cheeses.

Other salad ingredients - chopped olives, corn, white or black beans, diced avocadoes...the possibilities are endless!!! 

Salad dressing - You can make your own dressings. I included a lemon vinaigrette dressing. This time I used Champagne Vinaigrette (TJ's, of course). My favorite Trader Joe's salad dressing so far has to be the Poppy Seed Dressing.