Thursday, March 6, 2008

Composed Salads

Composed Salads

Every night at Sfoglia NYC there is an Antipasti Della Casa comprised of 3 different items, 2 are usually composed salads and it’s a great item to share. We used to make a plate of composed salads at FCI as well and they were fun, great to snack on plus it’s an easy way to experiment with new flavor profiles. The salads below could work individually as appetizers, side dishes or served with a protein. A good combo could be the cauliflower salad underneath a piece of seared halibut or cod with an olive tapenade or the radish salad underneath bacon wrapped scallops. The apple, rosemary, parmesan combination was the brainchild of my brilliant gourmand gal one morning when we made crepes. It is an awesome combo and could easily be the star of any dessert tart or ice cream flavor (minus the celery and olive oil). It’s also a super refreshing salad.

½ Head of Cauliflower
Olive Oil
¾ Cup Whole Almonds
¾ Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
3 sprigs of Thyme
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
Salt & Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Break off florets of cauliflower and place in a bowl. Drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the florets, add 2 pinches of salt and toss in a mixing bowl. Roast for 15 minutes. When finished place in a bowl.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting add 1 tsp of olive oil to a skillet. Heat for a minute and add the almonds. Add 2 pinches of salt. Coat evenly and heat until the skin starts to pop from the almonds or until they are a darker brown. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and allow to cool.
  4. Dice up the thyme, olives and almonds (once cool) and juice the lemon if you are using fresh. Combine the olives and almonds with the cauliflower.
  5. Vinaigrette: Add the lemon and thyme to a bowl. In a slow steady, stream add 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and whisk. Add some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Taste and adjust.
  6. Mix everything up and serve.

3 Radishes
Bacon, 2 crispy strips
1/3 cup Almonds, toasted
1/3 cup Cranberries, diced coarsely
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

  1. Cook the bacon until crispy. Lay on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease. Let cool.
  2. Prepare the almonds as described in the above procedure
  3. Dice up the cranberries, radishes and bacon.
  4. Combine all ingredients with ginger vinaigrette (Store bought is fine, the Paul Newman’s is good but I prefer the Japanese orangey looking ones, Annie’s has a good one and Makoto). Taste and adjust.

1 Macintosh Apple
1 Stalk of celery, peeled
Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp fresh Rosemary (1/4 if you are using dried)
Lemon or Lime
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Peel the apple. Use a melon-baller to get rounds and drizzle a enough lemon juice to coat (this prevents the apples from turning brown for an extended period of time). Reserve.
  2. Rinse and peel the celery stalk. Slice very thin.
  3. Vinaigrette: finely chop enough rosemary to yield a generous 1/8 tsp. Add to lemon or lime and whisk in olive oil in a slow and steady fashion.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together and dust with parmesan cheese.

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