Helm’s Eurasian Salad

Craving a home salad after too many days on the road, I created this beauty atop a picnic cooler in my motel room.

European—Asian ingredients merge with a sublime balance. It’s been a repeat for over 25 years! Also serve as a go-to sauce on cooked or raw veggies

DRESSING:

  • garlic – 1-1/2 tsp, (2 cloves), mash & mince
  • olive oil – 1/4 cup, quality counts
  • rice vinegar – 2 TBS
  • soy sauce – 1-1/2 tsp
  • ginger juice – 1-1/2 tsp, from freshly grated ginger root

SALAD:

  • Greens – Use 4 or so cups of one or more types: romaine, bibb, red leaf
  • Sweet onion – 1/4 cup, thin slices
  • carrot – 1 cup, finely grated
  • daikon radish – 1/2 cup, finely grated

GARNISH SUGGESTIONS:

  • sesame seeds –  1 TBS, toasted
  • blue cheese
    Sesame Seeds

Toasted sesame seeds are a cook’s pixie dust; a great seasoning with little fuss. Preheat a heavy skillet on medium heat. Add a quarter cup of raw sesame seeds and stir regularly until the seeds begin to smoke lightly and become fragrant. Remove to a plate to cool. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.

BONUS: Make sesame salt, also known as gomasio. To the 1/4 cup of sesame seeds add one teaspoon of sea salt. After toasting the seeds, lightly grind the blend so you have some whole seeds remaining. I love to use a mortar and pestle to hand grind.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash greens and spin dry. Chill greens.
  2. Shred the carrots and radish. Slice the onion into razor thin quarter-rounds.
  3. Make the dressing.
  4. Just before serving tear the greens. Add a tablespoon or so of dressing and mix thoroughly—hands work perfectly! Look for a light sheen of oil on the lettuce leaves. Add the vegetables artfully onto the greens. Drizzle another tablespoon of dressing. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds.
  5. Serve on individual plates using tongs to grab a section of salad keeping the vegetables and greens in place. Drop gently onto a salad plate and serve. This is the secret to serving a salad. If you toss the vegetables and the greens together, the heavier pieces fall to the bottom and you lose the beauty of your composition.

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The Secret to Presenting a Salad

Traditionally, when you toss veggies and greens together, the heavier veggies fall beneath the greens, thus losing the beauty of your work. Try this instead: lightly dress the greens in a serving bowl along with a little salt and pepper. Then lightly season the cut veggies right on the cutting board. Finally, arrange the veggies on top of the greens, then spoon on a little more dressing over the veggies. Top with any final garnish, like toasted seeds, chopped herbs, crumbled cheese. You now present your crafted salad!

My favorite garnish [above] includes crumbled blue cheese and toasted sesame seeds

— Recipe by B. Hettig

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