A good salad is about balance and contrast. If you keep the following 4 principles in mind, you can make special salads every day of the year.
Don’t combine too many ingredients, the best salads have around 5 main ingredients. This ensures you taste every ingredients shines.
Make a simple dressing that compliments your ingredients. If you insist on using a complex dressing like a ceasar dressing, keep your salad even more simple: using up to 3 ingredients. For more information on ceasar salad read about my dutch ceasar salad here.
Balance your flavors. Make sure you have a sharp/spicy, sweet, salty, sour, savory and bitter component in your ingredients and dressing.
Sparpness can come from unions, chili or pepper.
Sweet can come form honey in your dressing or some fruit or sultanas.
Salty can come from some cheese, bacon,salty nuts or even sea salt.
Sour can come from sertain lettuce leaves or butter milk in your dressing.
Savory kan come from nuts, croutons or bacon.
Bitter notes can come from your choice of leaves, cheese or fruits like grapefruit.
Balance your textures. Make sure you have a variety of textures. Croutons or nuts for some bite, soft cheese or pears, creamy dressing and crunchy lettuce or cucumber.
The other day I made a tasty well balanced salad using endive leaves, feta cheese , union, tomatoe and bacon with a simple honey mustard dressing. For the honey mustard dressing combine equal quantities of mustard and honey. For a more runny dressing add water of (butter) milk to this mixture.
My mother used to make lovely salads with endives. I grew to love this bitter leaf. I have found it is the perfect ceasar salad leaf. You can substitute with your own favorite crunchy leaves.
Old gouda cheese is a good strong old and hardy cheese to replace Parmesan in this recipe.
Dutch Ceasar Salad
Dressing (for multiple salads):
1 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp mustard
50 ml butter milk
1 pinch of dried chili
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cruched garlic clove
half a bunch of endives
150 grams of grated old Gouda
1 crouton recipe
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar. Shake the jar to combine the ingredients. You can make this dressing up to 4 days in advance and keep the dressing in the fridge in a jar or container. Preferably you let the dressing stand for at least 30 mins to let the flavors come together.
Clean your endives. Slives the leaves into chunky pieces.
Mix your ingredients at the last moment for a crunchy salad. Use the amount of dressing you prefer, I like a thin coating on my leaves.
Anyone can make croutons. It is a quick and easy way to liven up a salad or soup and a good way to get rid of old bread. You can use any bread you like to eat. We like whole wheat, but white bread or sour dough is yummy too.
You can also freeze bread slices and take these out whenever you need to make croutons.
Garlic croutons (for 4 servings of salad)
2 slices of bread
4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
Brush your bread with olive oil on both sides. Toast the slices in your regular toaster until golden and crispy.
Slice your garlic in half length ways. Rub the toast with the garlic slices on each side. Generously season the toast on each side.
Let your garlic toast cool slightly. Slice your toast into cubes in your favorite crouton size.