Archive for April, 2012

A Simple Salad

29 April 12
Salads

Salads (Photo credit: Anil Wadghule)

Herself liked this pretty much and said I had to write it up. (Sound of shoulders shrugging.) I just threw this together tonight and there’s really not too much to it. Actually pretty easy.

Lay out a bed of stemmed, washed, and dried spinach. I don’t make a big bowl and try to serve; I just make salads right in the individual bowls. Chop up some of whatever you like. Let’s see, this one had celery and carrots. There should be some mushrooms in there: cleaned and sliced would be good. Oh yeah, some scallion, sliced thin, just the white and light green parts – about 1 per two salads.

A handful of walnut pieces and some raisins if you like. Sprinkle with either feta or blue cheese, crumbled fine (be generous).

{Herself sez: Try Clemson University Bluecheese. It is mild and very flavorful.}

Add in the kitchen sink or the refrigerator or whatever else you like.

Sauté some nice shrimp in butter and olive oil. Get them a little brownish so that there is that nice crust – but not so much that they are tough or rubbery. Medium shrimp work better than jumbos for this sort of thing. Anything smaller than medium is just too much trouble to peel with stiff fingers. Unless you chop the jumbo type they are too bit for a civilized mouthful.

Make the dressing fresh. This is the key to a great taste. For two this is about right. Scale up as necessary.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1 clove garlic, minced (small clove)
pinch Thyme (easy – don’t overpower)
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

Dump everything into something that you can run a whisk in. I’ve got a couple of smaller whisks so I usually just mix in the measuring cup. Whisk completely and serve. Be prepared for yummy sounds.

Variation: use blue cheese instead of feta. Blue cheese goes nicely with balsamic. Or you could use apple vinegar instead of balsamic, or a mix.

Salt. Simple stuff. The best way to go is to get a good salt grinder and then some good coarse salt. We are using an Atlantic salt mostly. We sometimes use a French Mediterranean gray that is very nice. {Herself sez: Then there is the Himalayan Pink Salt or the Bolivian Rose. They are delicious. There are a number of Japanese salts, too.} Mostly Americans don’t know how to salt because just about everything in a box already has too much salt to start with. Therefore most Americans have become shy about adding salt to anything and under-salt. Unless your doc has put you on a restricted diet you will do well to taste and add salt as needed. While cooking regard the salt measurement as a suggestion (except baking). Sneak up on the salt: add less than the recipe calls for (except Julia or equal) – taste. Repeat as necessary, you will get the right taste eventually. As you gain experience you will get closer and closer on the first try. The table salt we grew up with has iodine added. Necessary to prevent some thyroid and mental health problems when they started it way back when – about 1924. We usually get enough iodine in our diet to not have to worry about it so much anymore. If it concerns you use iodized table salt a couple of times a week. Unless your doc tells you different that should be plenty. And if you need iodine that much your doc should have you on a supplement anyway. Mostly it is kids that need the iodized salt while growing. We’re sorta past all that here. Cook for taste and let the chips fall where they will.

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