Salad Days

Salad days are here!  Sometimes we fall into a rut during the winter months and serve the same boring salad over and over – how about you?  Here is my newest salad inspiration – thanks to a basket of perfectly ripe juicy summer blueberries that weren’t going to last until morning – what to do with them before they went south?  Salad!

Blueberry & Pickled Red Onion Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onions (see recipe below)
  • 5 to 6 handfuls of your favorite summer greens, washed and spun dry
  • ¼ cup vinaigrette (I added parsley & thyme to mine)
  • Kosher salt and finely ground black pepper

Toss greens and blueberries in separate bowls with just enough vinaigrette to coat.  Season greens with salt and pepper to taste.  Mound greens on individual plates and sprinkle with berries and a mound of pickled red onions.

Salad Notes

Greens

Delicate greens need a little special attention especially after making the trip home in a warm car.  Don’t just throw them in the fridge…. For best results when you get home place the greens in a bowl of ice water to wash and then dry in batches in a salad spinner.  Lay the leaves out on paper towels and then roll up the paper towels and place in a plastic bag.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  When you take the greens out they will be cool, crispy, and DRY.   (soggy salads suck!)

Hate making too much salad?  I usually plan on a handful (approximately 1 cup) of greens per person plus 1 or 2 extra for the bowl – the perfect amount every time.

And, don’t forget to season the greens.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper as you toss in the vinaigrette.  Taste and adjust as needed.

Fruit

Tired of tomatoes?  Some people think it is a little weird to add fruit to green salads but the combination of sweet and tart is perfect.  Blueberries, strawberries, and melons are great additions to a summer salad.

Pickled Onions

I don’t usually like raw onions in salads, but I love pickled onions. They are great anywhere you would use raw onions… especially hamburgers and hot dogs.   Super easy to make (don’t tell anyone) AND they make you look like a culinary rock star.  The same method can be used to quick pickle cherries (yum!)  See recipe below.

Vinaigrette

Don’t over dress!  It seems like it always takes less vinaigrette than you think to give a salad a nice light coating.  Add a couple of tablespoons, toss, add more vinaigrette if needed.  Remember the longer the greens sit after being dressed, the more they will be weighed down by the vinaigrette.  Always toss just before serving.

Chilled Plates

Okay, I admit it,  I’m a freak for a chilled plate.  Chilled plates are optional –but always a pleasant surprise.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Salad Days

  1. Nice, very nice! Looks yummy, uses seasonal stuff, making pickled onions from scratch is a fresh idea( for 2012 that is!) and looks easy..and the kitchen rockstar factor is just the icing on the cake. Your photos and graphics are also super-pretty~ so bonus points for that! Thanks, Mia!
    I’m just back from the Milan area and they use a lot of pickled veggies to add interest to cool summer salads so I also appreciate the Italian tie-in!

    Jean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s