Salads are no longer boring. The salad has evolved. It is not just lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery and croutons. We now expect to choose from a variety of lettuce, kale and microgreens. We add cheese, nuts, roasted veggies, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, protein (steak, salmon, chicken, egg, lobster, crab, shrimps, smoked salmon, pig's ear), fruit (figs, peaches, pomegranate, dried blueberries, raisins) artisanal croutons and potato chips.
No, not all piled on ... unless you're at an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Careful planning, placement and plating justifies a $22 salad.
I have been fortunate to have eaten many delicious salads, with different textures and ingredients. I am always in awe with creative salad combinations. I get inspired and then I want to re-create them at home. I like the simple French classic frisee and lardon salad with poached egg. More recently, I love the ones with grilled romaine lettuce or baby gems.
The dressing can be very easy - olive oil, vinegar (white, red, champagne), salt and mustard (endless varieties). I use a handheld electric milk frother to combine and to make the dressing creamy. I sometimes use store-bought dressings from a bottle. Some are really good.
With all the lettuce I have grown, I want to create the best salads. I want to respect the lettuce and let it express itself. I owe it to the balcony farmer!
Salads I have created: