Some cultures use it to end a meal, some use it to start a meal and others eat salad as their meal! Last week I was so busy with work that I needed some quick fixes for dinner and I looked no further than our leafy friend, the salad. The real star of the first night was a baked potato with greek yogurt, turkey bacon, chives and crushed red pepper flakes. Around the potato perimeter, I sprinkled mixed greens and topped with thinly sliced roma tomatoes, blood orange segments and wonton noodles. I then drizzled with good olive oil and PRESTO! Dinner is served! SO easy and so good! OH WAIT! Did I mention the potato was stuffed with grated aged swiss cheese as well? Well, it was.
On the second night, it was an awkward 80 degree April evening so I turned to my grill. I quickly grilled a New York Strip steak with nothing more than salt and pepper. While I was letting it rest, I got out my greens and tossed with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. I added some dried cherries and my beloved wonton noodles. I topped with slivers of the steak and crumbled aged goat cheese. Again, easy, yet satisfying!
I refuse to let salad be that thing at the beginning of a meal that is a throw away! If a side, it should only enhance the courses to come, and if intended as a meal, I should leave satisfied. Salads are an easy way to touch all quadrants of your palette. It should be a balance of salty, sweet, tangy, bitter and savory.