Monday, May 30, 2016

Naked Salad

I have a go-to dressing-less salad that I make almost every night for dinner. Fritz and I split it; the kids aren't into salad. I used to use salad dressing, but about 18 months ago I stopped using salad dressing as part of my one ingredient goal. (Mentioned here.) Since then I've been experimenting with ways to make a salad moist without using salad dressing. The best strategy I've found it to grate carrots or (raw) beet into the salad. If given a choice, I always pick the beet: it looks so pretty with the greens! Also, there's something perfect about the way a raw, grated beet is sweet and juicy.

I'm also a big believer that salad aesthetics are important. I like a mixture of color, intentional chopping of vegetables for maximal textural impact, and visibility of the bowl. Food always looks more appealing when it's full of color! Like me, you've probably also read that food with lots of colors is somewhat related to having a good diversity of vitamins and nutrients. That sounds good to me, so I go with it! Especially with fruits and vegetables, they can be unusual, organic shapes or really standard shapes depending on how you chop them (Thank you, Arch 101), so I try to maximize the shapes and sizes of the various ingredients for a bold textural appearance. And after taking care to make a beautiful salad, I put it in a glass bowl so I can see it. Our glass bowls get so much use that I really could replace them with something a little less worn. I guess I'm currently working against myself on this point. Here's my lovely salad in my slightly less lovely bowl:

1 huge handful mixed lettuces (I buy the boxes of "prewashed" salad because too much fussing with lettuce deflates my enthusiasm for making salad)
1 huge handful baby spinach (Ditto on the box)
3 latitudinally thinly sliced sweet peppers
1 finely chopped slice of onion
1 peeled and latitudinally sliced carrot (or grated carrot)
1 peeled and grated small raw beet (Surgical gloves if red-died hands bother you, alternatively, usually the red beet washes off after about 2 hand washings)
pecorino romano, shaved
handful of raw sunflower or raw pumpkin seeds


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