Part 2 of 4 of the Beat the Heat Guide 2020
The Composed Salad.
|The Composed Salad. |
The Composed Salad. Similar to Elaine’s “big salad” but instead of 2 small salads in a big bowl (if you know, you know), we’re choosing a big plate. Instead of a toss, it’s composed. Enough references, let’s just get to it. It’s perfect for hosting guests. It’s a great way to prep ahead & dress it up when ready. It’s an even better way to do little work & put out something beautiful. We mostly need to thank the farmers for producing seasonal beauties, but after that, you can take the credit.
Something we should preface. There is NOT a recipe for this. For some of you that is scary. For others, let your freak flag fly! Whoever you are we have provided enough tips that you will all feel confidence in this!
Step 1. Pick Seasonal fruit & vegetables & local when possible. Produce that is in season just tastes better. Challenge us if you want, but we are right. A tomato in summer doesn’t compare with whatever is being shipped in during the winter. Because its summer, we love stone fruit. The season offers all sorts of stone fruit treats: Peaches, nectarines, cherries, & plums. Apricots are still hanging tough with all its hybrid friends (apriums, pluots, dapple dandies). Choose tomatoes. We only have a couple months, do it right. Choose different sizes shapes & colors. Other composed salad components can be corn, cucumbers, melons or even quick blanched items like asparagus, green beans, plus optional raw greens are great fillers.
Why are greens optional? They aren’t going to hold up prepped ahead, but are perfect to add when ready to serve. Same goes with Herbs. Herbs are fresh & packed with flavor. If you have a garden, it’s time to literally reap what you sowed. Fresh herbs are our favorite way to add beauty & dimension to your dish.
Step 2. (We’ll try & make these steps shorter than step 1. But no promises.) Random Cuts. Maybe it’s not the best way to show off your knife skills but, the non-machine cut will really stand out here. These produce items aren’t perfect blocks any way, so have some round and triangle pieces. We want to use ALL of this bounty.
Step 3. Pick 1 large serving dish & create one nice layer of your shapes. We’re not telling you to pull out tweezers. We’re not those people. Just start with some peaches, then scatter plums, finish with tomato. At this point, set your plate aside until it’s ready to serve. Dressing, herbs, that beautiful burrata you are saving, can be held off until then as well. Stone fruit doesn’t brown like an apple will, so you can prep ahead & have your platter almost ready.
Pro tip: With those stone fruit pits that still have a little meat left on them. Submerge them into your favorite vinegar & leave on your shelf for 1-2 weeks. Strain & use your Infused vinegar on your next composed salad or anywhere you would use vinegar!
Step 4: Oil, Vinegar, Salt & Pepper. HERBS! That’s all you need. Because your components are in a nice layer, no need to toss. All pieces will get some love. Pick whole leaves when it comes to herbs or tear by hand. Chopping will blacken herbs & whole leaves look more elegant , in our opinion. Whether you choose to use an infused vinegar or experiment with herb or chili oils, that it is up to you. You’re the chef! Now give it a few cracks of black pepper. As for those fancy salts, you’ve been gifted, now is to the time to finish your composed salad with it!
Stonefruit, Tomato, & Torn Mozz, basil, mint, herb oil, white wine vinegar —–>