Friday, April 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Salads

I'm not a salad gal myself, I generally don't order them at restaurants, and I rarely make them at home. However, on Wednesday, lulled by the Farmer's market I decided to buy fresh ingredients and have salads for the remainder of the week. The thing is, even though it is spring, I am often stumped at the market about what to buy. I didn't want asparagus, I didn't know what to do with fava beans, I could buy peas...and then there are a bunch of greens like swiss chard that I don't really know how to use either.

So I left the market with a basket of strawberries, a bunch of spinach, a bunch of arugula, sugar snap peas and a couple of oranges. Not really salad material...I went to the store after work and picked up a couple of fillers--a cucumber, goat cheese, marinated artichokes, kalamata olives and a balsamic vinegrette.

My first salad was sub-par. I threw all the ingredients I purchased together with far too many greens. I added some sprigs of cilantro, a few sliced boiled multi-colored potatoes and some slices of steak. Parts of the salad tasted like fresh mowed grass, other parts tasted fart too acidic. The salad was edible but it just wasn't delicious.

Learning from my mistakes and building on my heaviest ingredient, my second salad was warmed and a delicious blend of surprising flavors. This, my friends is a salad I will make again, and I encourage you to do the same and to serve it as a main course with a side of fruit.

Wilted Arugula Steak & Potato Salad (for 2 as a main dish)
1/4 lb grilled steak, thinly sliced
1/2 lb mixed thin-skinned potatoes (I used red, purple and yellow), boiled until just soft, about 10 minutes
1 small bunch arugula, washed and stems removed, ripped into bite sized pieces
pitted kalamata olives to taste
1-3 T olive oil, to desired moistness
salt, to taste
4 T mixed fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary & thyme
2 T goat cheese, crumbled

1. Finely chop herbs and set aside.
2. Toss all ingredients except cheese and olives in a microwave safe bowl
3. Microwave on high 45 seconds or until steak and potatoes are warm and arugula is wilted
4. Toss salad with cheese and olives and serve with fruit

1 comment:

Jenny said...

You totally bought salad material!!

You could make a spinach salad with strawberries. Or an arugula salad with a orange vinaigrette!