Salad Nicoise with lettuce, tuna, potatoes, green beans and hard-boiled egg.
A meal in a bowl
- Article by: JOYCE WHITE
- Special to the Star Tribune
- June 13, 2012 - 2:44 PM
A bowl of salad brimming with fresh vegetables is a meal in itself when tossed with slivers of cooked chicken or smoked turkey or seafood, such as grilled or baked salmon, shrimp, scallops or steamed lobster.
You can also make a main-course salad like this with strips of baked ham or barbecued pork, wedges of cheese from around the world, tuna in the can, hard-cooked eggs, sardines and anchovies.
Or add grilled or baked eggplant and zucchini and roasted tomatoes and bell peppers in rainbow colors to add sparkle to the summer table when combined in a bowl for a salad.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachio or roasted peanuts bring both crunch and healthy nutrients to a bowl of salad boasting lettuce, wedges of avocado and good-quality cheese, a triple whammy of goodness.
Today's farmers markets offer an array of lettuce with names such as Boston, bibb, romaine and oak leaf, firm textured buttercrunch, rose-tinged butterhead, red leaf, and mâche, all ideal picking for the salad bowl. Watercress and arugula are fine leaves for a salad, too.
Truth be told, a hearty salad is a quick, healthy and filling meal without a lot of fuss, a welcomed repast on hot summer days. And for more goodness, when you use your own homemade salad dressing, you don't have to buy bottled salad dressing laced with preservatives.
At best, a piquant salad dressing or vinaigrette is simply a mixture of quality oil, preferably olive oil, and vinegar of choice, ranging from mild flavor apple cider vinegar, to elegant tarragon vinegar, to bold and brazen balsamic vinegar.
A pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper stirred into the dressing is de rigueur in this kitchen, and so is a clove or two of crushed garlic. And a dab of mustard stirred into the vinaigrette makes an elegant tossing for chunks of roast chicken or smoked turkey or ham.
Remember that hearty salads require only a brief chilling, since a long stay in the refrigerator lessens the flavor of all the fixings. I try to get my salads in and out of the fridge in less than an hour, with willing guests always hurrying me on.
Joyce White can be reached at email@example.com.
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