Sunday, February 24, 2008

Salad attempt

Quick follow-up to the last post about re-creating a salad I had on Friday night.

I attempted the salad for friends on Saturday night. It turned out ok, but I think I can do better. Here is what I did:

a. Cut up a small head of cauliflower into small florets. Diced 3 medium beets. Put them both in the oven at 425F for 25 minutes.
b. Cut up some walnuts and threw them in the oven for 15 minutes
c. Whipped up a simple sesame vinaigrette (1 part dark sesame oil, one part olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar).
d. Mixed a, b, and c in a bowl with 4 handfuls of baby spinach and 200g of crumbled danish blue cheese.

Result: a nice salad but it didn't really "come together". The flavors were there, and they were good, but they were separate flavors. It didn't meld. Additionally, the beets were undercooked and the cauliflower was a tad over cooked.

Next time I'll make the following changes;
1. Boil the beets (and perhaps the cauliflower) and the stick them in the oven of a couple of minutes to dry them off. This will give me more control over their doneness.
2. Take the time to source some good gorgonzola. The danish blue was ok, but a bit stronger and creamier than I wanted.
3. Heat the vinaigrette so it wilts the spinach a tad and adds warmth to the plate.

Thank-you Tara and friends for letting me experiment on you.

If any of you try this out, let me know how it goes. Or if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

(Sorry, no photo - it's not being a good host to photograph the food while you have hungry guests waiting to eat it.)

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