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 light sauce on cooked or raw veggies.

DRESSING:

  • garlic, fresh, 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 #1:

  • Greens: Use 4 or so cups of one or more types: romaine, bibb, red leaf
  • onion, sweet, 1/4 cup, thin half-moon cuts
  • carrot, 1 cup, finely grated
  • daikon radish, 1/2 cup, finely grated

SALAD # 2: Try sliced scallions or chives, raw mushrooms, cucumber and daikon radish

GARNISH:

  • sesame seeds,* 1 TBS, toastedSesame 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 continuously 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.

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.

— Recipe by B. Hettig

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