Salads: try classic pairings…uniquely

Cool.  Crisp. Another rite of spring.
Done right with endless creativity.
Leafy.  Lean.  Nutritious and luscious.
Try classic pairings uniquely.
Shaved is trending.
Asparagus, avocado, watercress
+ classic Caesar as small plate.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
great tips for great spring menus.
Review our handsome product portfolio.  Perhaps develop a salad specialty menu?
Asparagus and Avocado Salad
Sensual coupling of springtime fresh pairing
4 or 5 thick asparagus spears
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
16 fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of fine sea salt per serving
Cut away about 2 inches of the base of each asparagus spear. With a vegetable peeler, shave the entire asparagus from bottom to top, reversing your grip and rotating as necessary to shave as much as possible. Don’t rush it–be deliberate for the greatest precision. Divide the asparagus strips among 4 salad plates. Cut each avocado half into 4 sections and place 2 wedges on each salad. Sprinkle with the mint leaves.  Squeeze lime juice over the salads, drizzle evenly with the oil, and sprinkle with salt.
Avocado and Watercress Salad
Secret is the apple. balances the flavor and texture of this creative blend.
Toss in pine nuts or peppinos for extra crunch.
1 firm-ripe avocado
6 cups watercress (thin stems and leaves only– from 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup finely grated peeled Gala apple
(use small holes of box grater)
1 tablespoon grated sweet onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
(use large holes of a box grater)
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir together vinegar, onion, apple, soy sauce, and sugar until sugar has dissolved, then stir in oil. Just before serving, toss watercress with enough dressing to coat. Quarter, pit, and peel avocado, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Gently toss with watercress.
Watercress Salad with Pickled Quail Eggs
…and for something uniquely piquant. Also elegant for small plates.
6 ounce organic baby watercress (12 cups)
or 1 1/2 lb regular watercress (4 large bunches)
20 pickled quail eggs or 5 pickled regular large eggs, halved, quartered, or sliced
2 tablespoons pickling liquid from pickled quail eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk together pickling liquid, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oils in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Toss watercress with just enough dressing to coat in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve salad with eggs.
Caesar Salad Spears
…or this…for small plate elegance…
7 Belgian endives
3 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 small garlic clove, smashed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups 1/4-inch-diced white bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
+ more for trim
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden and crisp. Meanwhile, in the same bowl, using a spoon, mash the anchovies to a paste with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon zest and lemon juice, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Trim the endives and remove the largest leaves from 6 of the heads. Stack the leaves and trim them to about 4 inches. Thinly slice the remaining endive, along with the trimmings of the 6 other heads ( this should yield about 3 cups), and toss with the dressing. Spoon the salad onto each spear and garnish with the croutons and grated cheese.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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