Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Salad Sublimity

 Marinated Haricots Verts and Roasted Tomato Caprese
I know what you're probably thinking. Is "sublimity" a word? Ha! YES. Don't you like the title "Salad Sublimity" much better than "Sublime Salads"? Anyhoo, let's discuss Salad Creativity. Salad Inventiveness. Salad Happiness. Salad Satisfaction. Salad-Outside-The-Box, Salad Love, if you will. What constitutes a salad? The ubercoolness of salads is that it DOESN'T MATTER ! ! ! They're so non-committal. So free-wheelin'. So all-over-the-board. When you go home tonight and you KNOW you need to be eating something GREEN, please think of something other than iceberg lettuce and an under-ripe, mealy pink tomato with some bottled dressing that has too many ingredients . . . like xanthan gum, for example. I know that stuff's in a lot of things from salad dressings to medicines to friggin' drilling mud to concrete (really!) and I understand that it's a USDA approved food additive, but, if you want viscosity, use your dang whisk! Nuff Sed. OK. Gettin' back down off that high horse.
Warm Gnocchi & Broccoli Salad with Spinach and Tomato
Roasted Turkey Breast Salad
with lots of vegetables and
homemade ranch dressing
Be creative tonight. Think about all of the things that you might have on hand to lead you up the path to "Salad Sublimity". Peas in the freezer. Cannelini beans in the pantry. Interesting cheese in the fridge. Onions in the bin. Maybe a few potatoes somewhere. Eggs? Carrots? Mushrooms? Celery? Apples? Pears? Beets? Nuts? Berries? Herbs? Cabbage? Lettuce? You get the picture. If poached chicken with mayo is a salad, and apple chunks with strawberries is a salad, if tuna, onions and mayo are a salad, if "macaroni" and Miracle Whip is a salad, if apples, peanuts and Cool Whip are a salad, etc., ANYTHING can be a salad! You are the creator! The architect! The Salad Queen or King! Think about the flavors you love. Consider combining cooked vegetables with raw vegetables. Cooked protein (like chicken or fish or eggs) with raw vegetables and/or cooked vegetables. Think about textures. Crispy. Crunchy. Velvety smooth. Hard. Soft. Chewy. Think about sweet, savory, tart, salty. Hot. Cold. Room temperature.
Roasted Beets and Pink Grapefruit Salad




After being forever influenced by the book "Fit For Life"about 20 years ago, I am always thinking about the proper combining of foods, according to Harvey & Marilyn Diamond. They're vegetarians, right? Among a lot of other stuff, they advocate something like a diet that consists of 70% high water content foods. To me, that's raw fruits and vegetables. They also explained their theory about the importance of not eating starches and proteins in the same meal, having to do with slowing your digestion and zapping your energy and so on. I'm just going by my memory and my personal interpretation of the book. Wow, talk about the condensed version. What I walked away with was this "forget traditional sandwiches" idea and goodbye to meat and bread at the same meal. Say no to meat and potatoes (at the same time). Then, my choice was always like . . . do I want to eat meat or bread with my salad????? Of course, bread always won and still wins. I love bread. I gave it up for Lent once. That won't happen again.
Traditional Greek Salad with "Pop's" Homegrown Oregano
Now, think of the amazing salad options! After reading that book, one of my absolute favorite salads became the KPK (B4 KPK) Fried Potato Salad. OMG. I haven't made it in awhile. Imagine your favorite greens. Romaine is what I was into at that time, I believe. Slices of sweet onion. Sliced potatoes, fried in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, crushed red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Pile the hot crusty potatoes onto the greens and onions. Top with homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing. More freshly ground black pepper. Ridiculously good. I know what you're thinkin' again! Don't judge. We all know that the dressing is fattening, but if it's homemade, it's definitely better for you than the mass-produced, processed, gummier stuff. You can make a killer dressing with fat free Greek yogurt, buttermilk (which is LOW FAT, my friends), lots of fresh herbs, a bit of white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Obviously, if you add some sour cream and some mayonnaise, it will be even more fantabulous, just more fattening! My KPK logic is that if you're eating a huge pile of GREEN, you can get away with the stuff that's NOT GREEN! I know it's wrong, but too bad, too sad. If you have leftover baked potatoes, make this salad by slicing them and frying them in olive oil. Mmmmmm. Oh, bummer. I have no pictures of the Fried Potato Salad. Guess I'll have to make one and resist it long enough to snap a few good shots.
Cherry Tomato and Onion Salad with Polpette di Zucchini

Lately, I'm on a kick with steaming vegetables like carrots, green beans and new potatoes separately, dressing them and then piling them  on platters with raw vegetables like red cabbage, fresh spinach, avocado slices, tomatoes and more. The KEY is that you dress each vegetable separately so that everything is delicious and flavorful on its own. Whether it's simply oil and vinegar or lemon juice & herbs, dress them first. When you pile everything separately rather than mixing it all together, your salad will have much more eye appeal and make a striking and naturally beautiful presentation. No need for a curly parsley garnish here, that's for sure!

Isn't nature magnificent? 

COLOR YOUR DIET. EAT A GREAT SALAD EVERY DAY. 
 A KPK Signature "VIBRANT" Salad

LOVE, KATIE

Wow, that was a long post, Katie, haha ~ lqtm. Seriously, I have way too much more to write here about salads. It's another passion problem . . . but, it's 2:12 am (hey, 2/12, that's my birthday) and it's time (way past time) to hit the K P Pillow. Night foodies  : ) ~ Colorful dreams . . . . .

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MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

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