Salads and Salad Dressings

Salads and Salad Dressings

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Salads and Salad Dressings Salads and Salad Dressings Salads and Salad Dressings Salad, in its most familiar guise, is a cool, crisp, refreshing collection of greens tossed with a piquant dressing. The possibilities, however, don’t end there. A salad can be created from a seemingly endless array of ingredients, each contributing different flavors and textures and sometimes even dictating different serving temperatures. Whether prepared with beans or bread, with grains or greens, or served chilled or warm, a salad is always welcome. It can also play a variety of roles. A salad can be an appetite-teasing first course or a tempting side dish, especially at summer barbecues and picnics, but, bolstered with meat, chicken, or seafood, a salad can also serve as a satisfying but light main dish for warm-weather meals. BUYING, PREPARING, AND STORING SALAD GREENS Choose crisp-looking greens with no bruised, yellowing, or brown-tipped leaves. Iceberg lettuce should be heavy for its size and feel firm when squeezed. As soon as you get it home, wash, dry, and store the lettuce leaves. This will keep the greens fresh longer and provide a few days’ worth of salad ready to be put together when you are. Even prewashed greens should be washed and dried to refresh them and to rinse off any bacteria from the surface of the leaves. No one wants a gritty salad, so wash greens well. Separate the leaves, submerge them in a sinkful or large bowl of cold water, and gently agitate the greens to loosen the dirt. Lift the greens from the water, leaving the grit to sink to the bottom. Curly-leafed greens, as well as spinach and arugula, are especially sandy, and dirt often gets trapped in the crevices of the leaves. Wash these in cool water (the slightly warmer temperature loosens dirt better than cold water), and, if necessary, give the greens a second washing. Dry salad greens thoroughly before using or storing. Not only do wet greens dilute the dressing and make for a less flavorful, soggy salad, but they won’t keep well either. A salad spinner provides an efficient way to dry greens, but you can also pat greens dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. If you are washing spinach, arugula, or watercress, remove their tough stems after rinsing. To Store, wrap the rinsed and dried greens in a clean kitchen towel (or in a few paper towels), place in a plastic bag (pressing out all the excess air), and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Tender leaf lettuce will keep for two to three days; iceberg and other sturdy lettuces will keep for up to five days. Very delicate greens, such as arugula or watercress, will keep for only a day or so. A GLOSSARY OF GREENS Salad greens fall into either of two basic categories: delicate and tender or assertive and slightly bitter. Tender greens, such as lettuce, are served alone or combined with other vegetables. There are four types of lettuce: crisphead (iceberg) varieties are crisp and mild-flavored and stand up well to thicker dressings; butterhead (Bibb, Boston) is sweet-tasting and delicate and should be served with an appropriately light-bodied dressing; loose-leaf (oak leaf ) is tender but has a slightly stronger flavor than butterhead; long-leaf (romaine) has long, firm, crisp leaves and is another candidate for rich, thick dressings. Stronger-flavored greens (including members of the chicory family) are usually combined with sweeter lettuces for a well-balanced salad. Flavorwise, their mild bitterness contrasts nicely with the natural sweetness of the lettuces, but greens such as radicchio and Belgian endive are also invaluable as color elements in the salad palette. Here are the basic characteristics of the different greens to help you make the right choice at the market. Arugula Peppery arugula is also known as rugula or rocket. The older and larger the leaves, the more assertive the flavor. The leaves can be very gritty, so rinse them thoroughly. Baby greens Available in bags or in bulk at many supermarkets, this combination of very young, tender salad greens is an Americanization of the French salad mix known as mesclun (see right). Belgian endive A member of the chicory family, Belgian endive is appreciated for its crisp texture and slightly bitter flavor. The leaves should be very white, graduating to pale yellow tips. Bibb lettuce Also called limestone lettuce, has cup-shaped leaves and is best with mild vinaigrettes. Boston lettuce A loose-leaf lettuce with tender floppy leaves, it is sometimes called butterhead lettuce. Chicory Although chicory is an entire family of mildly bitter greens, Americans use the term to identify a dark green variety with fringed leaves. It is also known as curly endive. Chinese cabbage A tightly formed head of white leaves with wide stalks. Dandelion Tart greens that make a pungent addition to a salad. Some cooks gather the wild variety in the spring. Escarole Sharp-tasting escarole should have curly leaves with firm stems that snap easily. Frisée A delicate, pale green variety of chicory with curly, almost spiky leaves. Iceberg lettuce A lettuce that is best appreciated for its refreshing crisp texture rather than for its mild flavor. Cut out the core before rinsing the leaves. Mâche Also called lamb’s lettuce, this green has a nutty taste and tiny tender leaves. Use within one day; it wilts easily. Mesclun From the Provençal word for “mixture,” true mesclun is made up of wild baby greens from the hillsides of southern France, and often includes herbs and edible flowers. Here, it is commonly a mix of sweet lettuces and bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâche, sorrel, and radicchio. Mizuna A small, feathery, delicately flavored green of Japanese origin. Napa cabbage Very similar to, and interchangeable with, Chinese cabbage, but shorter and rounder. Oak leaf A variety of Boston lettuce with ruffled leaves. Green oak leaf is uniformly green, whereas red oak leaf has dark red tips. Radicchio The most common radicchio is round with white-veined ruby-red leaves. Radicchio di Treviso has long, narrow red leaves that form a tapered head. Radish sprouts Innocent-looking sprouts with tiny clover-shaped heads that pack a peppery punch. Romaine Its long, crisp, dark green leaves and slightly nutty flavor make romaine the preferred lettuce for Caesar salad. Spinach Whether dark green and crinkled or flat, spinach needs to be washed thoroughly to remove all the grit. Baby spinach has very tender edible stems. Watercress Watercress adds crisp texture and a mildly spicy flavor to salads. It is very perishable, so use within one or two days of purchase.
Salads and Salad Dressings

Salads and Salad Dressings

Salad, in its most familiar guise, is a cool, crisp, refreshing collection of greens tossed with a piquant dressing. The possibilities, however, don’t end there. A salad can be created from a seemingly endless array of ingredients, each contributing different flavors and textures and sometimes even dictating different serving temperatures. Whether prepared with beans or bread, with grains or greens, or served chilled or warm, a salad is always welcome. It can also play a variety of roles. A salad can be an appetite-teasing first course or a tempting side dish, especially at summer barbecues and picnics, but, bolstered with meat, chicken, or seafood, a salad can also serve as a satisfying but light main dish for warm-weather meals.

BUYING, PREPARING, AND STORING SALAD GREENS

Choose crisp-looking greens with no bruised, yellowing, or brown-tipped leaves. Iceberg lettuce should be heavy for its size and feel firm when squeezed. As soon as you get it home, wash, dry, and store the lettuce leaves. This will keep the greens fresh longer and provide a few days’ worth of salad ready to be put together when you are. Even prewashed greens should be washed and dried to refresh them and to rinse off any bacteria from the surface of the leaves. No one wants a gritty salad, so wash greens well. Separate the leaves, submerge them in a sinkful or large bowl of cold water, and gently agitate the greens to loosen the dirt. Lift the greens from the water, leaving the grit to sink to the bottom. Curly-leafed greens, as well as spinach and arugula, are especially sandy, and dirt often gets trapped in the crevices of the leaves. Wash these in cool water (the slightly warmer temperature loosens dirt better than cold water), and, if necessary, give the greens a second washing. Dry salad greens thoroughly before using or storing. Not only do wet greens dilute the dressing and make for a less flavorful, soggy salad, but they won’t keep well either. A salad spinner provides an efficient way to dry greens, but you can also pat greens dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. If you are washing spinach, arugula, or watercress, remove their tough stems after rinsing. To Store, wrap the rinsed and dried greens in a clean kitchen towel (or in a few paper towels), place in a plastic bag (pressing out all the excess air), and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Tender leaf lettuce will keep for two to three days; iceberg and other sturdy lettuces will keep for up to five days. Very delicate greens, such as arugula or watercress, will keep for only a day or so.

A GLOSSARY OF GREENS

Salad greens fall into either of two basic categories: delicate and tender or assertive and slightly bitter. Tender greens, such as lettuce, are served alone or combined with other vegetables. There are four types of lettuce: crisphead (iceberg) varieties are crisp and mild-flavored and stand up well to thicker dressings; butterhead (Bibb, Boston) is sweet-tasting and delicate and should be served with an appropriately light-bodied dressing; loose-leaf (oak leaf ) is tender but has a slightly stronger flavor than butterhead; long-leaf (romaine) has long, firm, crisp leaves and is another candidate for rich, thick dressings. Stronger-flavored greens (including members of the chicory family) are usually combined with sweeter lettuces for a well-balanced salad. Flavorwise, their mild bitterness contrasts nicely with the natural sweetness of the lettuces, but greens such as radicchio and Belgian endive are also invaluable as color elements in the salad palette. Here are the basic characteristics of the different greens to help you make the right choice at the market.
  • Arugula Peppery arugula is also known as rugula or rocket. The older and larger the leaves, the more assertive the flavor. The leaves can be very gritty, so rinse them thoroughly.
  • Baby greens Available in bags or in bulk at many supermarkets, this combination of very young, tender salad greens is an Americanization of the French salad mix known as mesclun (see right).
  • Belgian endive A member of the chicory family, Belgian endive is appreciated for its crisp texture and slightly bitter flavor. The leaves should be very white, graduating to pale yellow tips.
  • Bibb lettuce Also called limestone lettuce, has cup-shaped leaves and is best with mild vinaigrettes.
  • Boston lettuce A loose-leaf lettuce with tender floppy leaves, it is sometimes called butterhead lettuce.
  • Chicory Although chicory is an entire family of mildly bitter greens, Americans use the term to identify a dark green variety with fringed leaves. It is also known as curly endive.
  • Chinese cabbage A tightly formed head of white leaves with wide stalks.
  • Dandelion Tart greens that make a pungent addition to a salad. Some cooks gather the wild variety in the spring.
  • Escarole Sharp-tasting escarole should have curly leaves with firm stems that snap easily.
  • Frisée A delicate, pale green variety of chicory with curly, almost spiky leaves.
  • Iceberg lettuce A lettuce that is best appreciated for its refreshing crisp texture rather than for its mild flavor. Cut out the core before rinsing the leaves.
  • Mâche Also called lamb’s lettuce, this green has a nutty taste and tiny tender leaves. Use within one day; it wilts easily.
  • Mesclun From the Provençal word for “mixture,” true mesclun is made up of wild baby greens from the hillsides of southern France, and often includes herbs and edible flowers. Here, it is commonly a mix of sweet lettuces and bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâche, sorrel, and radicchio.
  • Mizuna A small, feathery, delicately flavored green of Japanese origin.
  • Napa cabbage Very similar to, and interchangeable with, Chinese cabbage, but shorter and rounder.
  • Oak leaf A variety of Boston lettuce with ruffled leaves. Green oak leaf is uniformly green, whereas red oak leaf has dark red tips.
  • Radicchio The most common radicchio is round with white-veined ruby-red leaves. Radicchio di Treviso has long, narrow red leaves that form a tapered head.
  • Radish sprouts Innocent-looking sprouts with tiny clover-shaped heads that pack a peppery punch.
  • Romaine Its long, crisp, dark green leaves and slightly nutty flavor make romaine the preferred lettuce for Caesar salad.
  • Spinach Whether dark green and crinkled or flat, spinach needs to be washed thoroughly to remove all the grit. Baby spinach has very tender edible stems.
  • Watercress Watercress adds crisp texture and a mildly spicy flavor to salads. It is very perishable, so use within one or two days of purchase.
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Friday, 24 November 2017

Salads and Salad Dressings

Article Categories : Salads & Salad Dressings

Salads and Salad Dressings

Salads and Salad Dressings

Salad, in its most familiar guise, is a cool, crisp, refreshing collection of greens tossed with a piquant dressing. The possibilities, however, don’t end there. A salad can be created from a seemingly endless array of ingredients, each contributing different flavors and textures and sometimes even dictating different serving temperatures. Whether prepared with beans or bread, with grains or greens, or served chilled or warm, a salad is always welcome. It can also play a variety of roles. A salad can be an appetite-teasing first course or a tempting side dish, especially at summer barbecues and picnics, but, bolstered with meat, chicken, or seafood, a salad can also serve as a satisfying but light main dish for warm-weather meals.

BUYING, PREPARING, AND STORING SALAD GREENS

Choose crisp-looking greens with no bruised, yellowing, or brown-tipped leaves. Iceberg lettuce should be heavy for its size and feel firm when squeezed.

As soon as you get it home, wash, dry, and store the lettuce leaves. This will keep the greens fresh longer and provide a few days’ worth of salad ready to be put together when you are. Even prewashed greens should be washed and dried to refresh them and to rinse off any bacteria from the surface of the leaves.

No one wants a gritty salad, so wash greens well. Separate the leaves, submerge them in a sinkful or large bowl of cold water, and gently agitate the greens to loosen the dirt. Lift the greens from the water, leaving the grit to sink to the bottom. Curly-leafed greens, as well as spinach and arugula, are especially sandy, and dirt often gets trapped in the crevices of the leaves. Wash these in cool water (the slightly warmer temperature loosens dirt better than cold water), and, if necessary, give the greens a second washing.

Dry salad greens thoroughly before using or storing. Not only do wet greens dilute the dressing and make for a less flavorful, soggy salad, but they won’t keep well either. A salad spinner provides an efficient way to dry greens, but you can also pat greens dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. If you are washing spinach, arugula, or watercress, remove their tough stems after rinsing.

To Store, wrap the rinsed and dried greens in a clean kitchen towel (or in a few paper towels), place in a plastic bag (pressing out all the excess air), and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Tender leaf lettuce will keep for two to three days; iceberg and other sturdy lettuces will keep for up to five days. Very delicate greens, such as arugula or watercress, will keep for only a day or so.

A GLOSSARY OF GREENS

Salad greens fall into either of two basic categories: delicate and tender or assertive and slightly bitter. Tender greens, such as lettuce, are served alone or combined with other vegetables. There are four types of lettuce: crisphead (iceberg) varieties are crisp and mild-flavored and stand up well to thicker dressings; butterhead (Bibb, Boston) is sweet-tasting and delicate and should be served with an appropriately light-bodied dressing; loose-leaf (oak leaf ) is tender but has a slightly stronger flavor than butterhead; long-leaf (romaine) has long, firm, crisp leaves and is another candidate for rich, thick dressings.

Stronger-flavored greens (including members of the chicory family) are usually combined with sweeter lettuces for a well-balanced salad. Flavorwise, their mild bitterness contrasts nicely with the natural sweetness of the lettuces, but greens such as radicchio and Belgian endive are also invaluable as color elements in the salad palette.

Here are the basic characteristics of the different greens to help you make the right choice at the market.

  • Arugula Peppery arugula is also known as rugula or rocket. The older and larger the leaves, the more assertive the flavor. The leaves can be very gritty, so rinse them thoroughly.
  • Baby greens Available in bags or in bulk at many supermarkets, this combination of very young, tender salad greens is an Americanization of the French salad mix known as mesclun (see right).
  • Belgian endive A member of the chicory family, Belgian endive is appreciated for its crisp texture and slightly bitter flavor. The leaves should be very white, graduating to pale yellow tips.
  • Bibb lettuce Also called limestone lettuce, has cup-shaped leaves and is best with mild vinaigrettes.
  • Boston lettuce A loose-leaf lettuce with tender floppy leaves, it is sometimes called butterhead lettuce.
  • Chicory Although chicory is an entire family of mildly bitter greens, Americans use the term to identify a dark green variety with fringed leaves. It is also known as curly endive.
  • Chinese cabbage A tightly formed head of white leaves with wide stalks.
  • Dandelion Tart greens that make a pungent addition to a salad. Some cooks gather the wild variety in the spring.
  • Escarole Sharp-tasting escarole should have curly leaves with firm stems that snap easily.
  • Frisée A delicate, pale green variety of chicory with curly, almost spiky leaves.
  • Iceberg lettuce A lettuce that is best appreciated for its refreshing crisp texture rather than for its mild flavor. Cut out the core before rinsing the leaves.
  • Mâche Also called lamb’s lettuce, this green has a nutty taste and tiny tender leaves. Use within one day; it wilts easily.
  • Mesclun From the Provençal word for “mixture,” true mesclun is made up of wild baby greens from the hillsides of southern France, and often includes herbs and edible flowers. Here, it is commonly a mix of sweet lettuces and bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâche, sorrel, and radicchio.
  • Mizuna A small, feathery, delicately flavored green of Japanese origin.
  • Napa cabbage Very similar to, and interchangeable with, Chinese cabbage, but shorter and rounder.
  • Oak leaf A variety of Boston lettuce with ruffled leaves. Green oak leaf is uniformly green, whereas red oak leaf has dark red tips.
  • Radicchio The most common radicchio is round with white-veined ruby-red leaves. Radicchio di Treviso has long, narrow red leaves that form a tapered head.
  • Radish sprouts Innocent-looking sprouts with tiny clover-shaped heads that pack a peppery punch.
  • Romaine Its long, crisp, dark green leaves and slightly nutty flavor make romaine the preferred lettuce for Caesar salad.
  • Spinach Whether dark green and crinkled or flat, spinach needs to be washed thoroughly to remove all the grit. Baby spinach has very tender edible stems.
  • Watercress Watercress adds crisp texture and a mildly spicy flavor to salads. It is very perishable, so use within one or two days of purchase.