Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 4 February 2010 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 8 | 4 February, 2010
To make the dressing, whisk the
orange juice, garlic, sugar and
mustard in a small bowl. Gradually
whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
To make the salad, just before
serving, peel, seed and slice the
Place the mesclun salad
leaves on six salad
plates. Top with the
melon slices and twists
Drizzle with the dressing.
Great served with crusty bread. Serves 6 as a light meal or starter.
melon salad with
According to historians, salads were
enjoyed by the ancient Romans and
Greeks. The word salad originates
from the Latin 'sal' meaning salt,
which was used in the dressings accompanying salads. Raw vegetables
were eaten with a dressing of oil, vinegar, salt and herbs.
Not much has changed.
However, at the end of the 19th century, the domestic goddesses
of American cookery decided that salads should be more formally
presented. Disorganised piles of salad greens on plates were a 'no
no'. The simple salad evolved into a complicated, time-consuming
concoction. Salad greens had to be tamed by thinly shredding. Other
vegetables were similarly treated. Slices of egg, beetroot and cucumber
adorned the shredded greens in symmetrical lines served with carrot
and celery sticks on the side. Jellied and moulded salads became the
'pièce de résistance' of the salad table.
Luckily free-form salads regained favour in the 1970s and now
encompass tantalising creations of new wave lettuces, crisp noodles,
pastas, unusual fruits, seafood, meats, herbs, grains and trendy
veggies. They can be side dishes, light meals or hearty dinners.
Dressings range from a simple combo of a mild vinegar and crushed
garlic whisked with extra virgin olive oil through to the more complicated
mayos that need a whisk or blender to assist in emulsifying the oil and
These two are the basis for more elaborate dressings for example
wasabi mayonnaise and fresh herb French dressing.
I use a hand-held blender to make my mayonnaise because it is easier
to clean. Place an egg in the blender, add two tablespoons of cider
or wine vinegar, half a teaspoon each of teaspoon of sugar and dry
mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Process, until smooth. Gradually
drizzle in 1 cup of olive oil blending until creamy and thick.
The fresh mozzarella could be
exchanged for fresh ricotta (eg
Dressing: 6 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup drained sundried tomatoes,
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salad: 300g bowtie pasta or similar
400g (about 6) small, tasty
tomatoes, coarsely chopped
250g fresh mozzarella, drained and
cut into 2cm cubes
1 cup packed basil leaves, thinly
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
1¾ cup Kalamata olives, rinsed,
pitted and finely diced
Place the dressing ingredients in a
blender and process until smooth.
Boil the pasta in a large saucepan
of salted water until just tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the other
Drain the pasta and combine
with the dressing. Cool, stirring
Gently add the remaining
Can be garnished with extra basil
Pasta salad with mozzarella and basil
400g green beans
1 tablespoon peanut oil
½ teaspoon each: crushed garlic,
chilli paste, salt
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup each: sweet chilli sauce,
cider or wine vinegar
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut
½ cup salad oil
String the beans, if necessary,
and thinly slice. Heat the oil in a
wok or frypan and toss the beans
on high heat for 2 minutes.
Add a tablespoon or two of water
if more steam is required to cook
Add the garlic, chilli paste and salt
and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. The
beans should be crisp-tender.
Cool and toss with the onion.
To prepare the dressing, combine
all the ingredients and serve in a
Serves 6 as an accompaniment.
Indonesian green bean salad
4-6 crisp lettuce leaves
2 x 400g cans artichoke hearts
2 stalks celery, sliced
250g mushrooms, sliced
Mustard Dressing; 1 teaspoon
smooth French mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid honey
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Snap any tough ends from
asparagus and discard. Blanch
quickly in boiling water or in the
microwave, until crisp tender.
Refresh in icy water. Wash and
crisp the lettuce leaves.
Drain the artichokes and halve if
preferred. Place in a bowl with the
celery and mushrooms.
Whisk the ingredients for the
dressing. Pour over the salad and
Arrange the lettuce leaves and
the asparagus on a platter and
pile the artichoke mixture in the
Artichoke & asparagus salad
Dressing: ⅓ cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon each: sugar, Dijon-style
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salad: 1 large ripe rock melon
8 cups mesclun salad, rinsed and
crisped in the refrigerator
18 slices prosciutto
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