Everyone should know how to make a great a salad. It’s an indispensable technique that you can use every single day. Forget about “salad in a bag” and that somewhat suspicious “salad bar”, because making a wonderful, delicious salad is something you can do at home. AND, it’ll taste better and be more affordable.
But salads to me, are never made from recipes, because they are so easy to make, you never have to open a book to make a good one. The idea is that you want a good balance of flavors & textures. Flavor is of course what you taste – how the lettuce tastes, the flavor of the chicken, the nuttiness of the cheese, etc. Texture is when you are looking for different mouthfeels – crunchy lettuce, moist and juicy chicken, melt in your mouth cheese, chewy croutons. I always look for this type of balance when making a salad.
The other day, my dad and I were home for lunch. We wanted to have a real quick lunch, so I decided to sear some chicken breasts and make a salad to use up the leftover dressing we had from dinner the night before.
We always have romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce in the house, so I chopped some of that up. I saw some really great spinach, so I decided to throw that in there too! Never be afraid of mixing greens because that can add a lot of complexity and fun to your salad. We had half a baguette, which I cubed, and then toasted in the same pan I cooked the chicken, and lastly I shaved some parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler over the top.
Our dressing is always simple and if you learn this recipe, you never have to buy bottled dressing again. I use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar,1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and kosher salt and pepper. Whisk it together until it’s combined and you have a great all purpose dressing. You can play with the vinegar and oils, but the idea is to keep the proportions similar. Traditionally, most vinaigrettes are 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, but I prefer the tang in dressings so I stick with a 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar ratio.
Tossed together, this salad is awesome, it’s delicious, and it’s very easy to put together. You can always play around with it as well. You want to add some toasted nuts? Go right ahead! Some dried fruit, like cranberries? Sure! Bacon bits? Absolutely! You should keep your salads simple and enjoyable. You don’t need a recipe – just a little intuition and common sense. You’ll be a salad rockstar in no time!
Regarding the Calphalon Toaster Giveaway, we have a WINNER! Congratulations to:
Emily’s comment was: “Everyday is a constant battle in our office. A battle of
toasty proportions. In our production office of 8, we go through an
average of 64 boxes of poptarts/bags of bread per month*. One
Project Manager in particular, Adriann is a very picky toaster. She
does not settle for simply a normally toasted piece of bread, but
desires her morning breakfast to be charred beyond recognition. We
love Adriann, so looking past this is not difficult, however often
times when other people in the office go to toast after her, we
forget to switch the toaster from “black as night” back to “normal”
and calamity ensues. It also takes her an excruciatingly long
amount of time and effort to toast, leaving the rest of us in the
office without breakfast for an extended period of time. As it is
commonly known, breakfast is the most important meal of the day,
and thus, we are suffering. Please give us this fantastic toaster.
You would be bringing joy, life, and most importantly the glory of
toast into the lives of 8 very hardworking girls *all numbers
Well, I hope this toaster helps you and your girls out and brings some joy to your morning Pop Tarts! I’ve sent you an email already. Happy Toasting!