Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crunchy Bitter American Stink Salad

despite the word stink (which inserted itself into the otherwise crisp title by the nasty little blue cheese crumbles that make for memorable dining), this salad is really yummy and not actually stinky.
Salad dressings usually are comprised of an acid, a fat, an emulsifier (to keep the liquid and the fat together) and some herbs or seasonings. Examples of acids are lemon juice, orange juice and vinegar. Examples of fats used are olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil, tahini. Examples of foods that contain emulsifiers are egg yolk, lemon juice and honey. I will usually provide loose suggestions of ingredients for each dressing, then you get to play chemist and create the perfect dressing to suit your palate. As the days go on we will be making all our own dressings, and we are not going to shy away from the homemade ceasar or ranch either.. but these will come later.

For today, a simple dressing (if you feel lazy, omit this step and use ranch, or french, or ranch and french, or whatever you need to use up in your fridge because as the days go on we will be making all of our own dressings).

Squeeze a lemon into your salad bowl. Rub the juice all over the sides of the bowl (like when you rub lime juice on the rim of your glass). Mince and add a small clove of garlic (if you have a date with a Virgo, omit this step) drizzle in some olive oil ~1-2 tbsp just keep tasting as you go. If you ever feel there is not enough flavor (too much oil) just add some vinegar. Too much vinegar? Add some honey! too much honey? add some cayenne pepper..too much cayenne? ah, too bad. add salt and pepper if you like. Okay, dressing is done..now, the salad. mix together:

chopped green lettuce
diced green pepper
diced celery
diced purple cabbage
thinly sliced shallots (unless you have a date..but of course if they REALLY like you they won't mind..)
blue cheese crumbles
(if you are doing this as a dinner salad, add sliced hard boiled egg)

If you want to make this salad FOR a date and you want to impress and amuse them, top with dried hibiscus flower (they are like giant craisins but yummier and prettier)

Incidentally, while you are using up your pre-made salad dressings, try mixing french and ranch dressing and using it as a dip for fresh raw green beans. It reminds me of eating french fries but without the greasy after-bloat.

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