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
- 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
- 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
- sesame seeds – 1 TBS, toasted
- blue cheese
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.
- Wash greens and spin dry. Chill greens.
- Shred the carrots and radish. Slice the onion into razor thin quarter-rounds.
- Make the dressing.
- 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.
- 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.
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