On Gear Live: Geared Up: Switching from iPhone to Note 10; iPhone 11 Pro is Coming…

Latest Gear Live Videos

Wash garden lettuces or other salad greens well, but do not let them soak in water. This can soften the leaves and cause them to spoil quicker.  Dry the greens thoroughly, either by blotting with paper towels or with a salad spinner.

They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, but put a damp paper towel into the bag before closing. Otherwise, place a paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container. Put in the salad greens, then place a damp paper towel over the lettuce. Cover with an airtight lid.

Watercress can be stored by sticking the stems in a glass of water and placing a plastic bag over the leaves. Wild greens should be used immediately.  Lettuce will last 3-5 days depending on the variety. Romaine will keep longer. Tear or cut lettuces and greens before adding them to salads. Cut strong-tasting wild greens into smaller pieces than you would for lettuces to distribute their flavors.


Advertisement

MesclunMany of the greens found in the wild have become legitimized by the popularity of mesclun mixes and intentionally cultivated. Mesclun, comes from a French word meaning “mixture.”  Originating in Provence, France, mesclun traditionally was a blend of chervil, arugula, lettuce, and endive. These were usually grown together and harvested when only a few inches high.

Mesclun in America is much more varied. Not only are the blends packed with eight to sixteen different kinds of greens, but they are also geared for different tastes.  Some are quite mild and contain much more lettuce. Peppery mescluns can have cresses, chicory, arugula, and mustards mixed with regular leaf lettuce. Many of the greens in these salad blends are: lettuces, endives, mustards, purslane, cresses, escarole, arugula, chard, and spinach. Exotic greens like mizuna from Japan or tat-soi from China are popular, too. Some mescluns even have herbs, like parsleys and fennels, and edible flowers.


Salad Blaster The Salad Blaster is a way to transport your salad and your dressing without mingling the two until the precise moment. The lid of the Salad Blaster stores the dressing and the spacious container holds the greens. When you get to your picnic, pour the dressing into the salad. Put on the lid and shake. Individual plastic storage container to fit round veggies like bell peppers and onions are handy to have. They are great for storing half used vegetables. There’s a little hook on the edge of the container so you can hang the container on the front of a shelf in the fridge. That way your partially used veggie won’t get lost in the fridge.


French PurslaneMost wild salad greens are just pesky weeds to most people. Yet, many upscale supermarkets carry wild greens, and fine dining establishments use dandelion greens, a variety of watercresses, lambs quarters, and even French purslane in their creations. These weeds are really nutritious and very tasty. Wash them well, and chop or tear them into very small pieces to distribute their unique flavors. Use singly in a salad or mix them with other wild greens and domestic lettuces. Dress lightly so you don’t mask their flavors.  Besides eating them raw, these greens can be wilted or steamed and served with a vinaigrette dressing or a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Click to continue reading Wild Salad Greens Found in Your Supermarket


NasturtiumsIt has been long known that chefs use nasturtiums as garnishes and as ingredients in salads.  One of the first to peep out of the ground and burst into bloom are spring violets. These orchid-like flowers add color to spring salads, are used for garnishes for tea sandwiches and desserts, and can even be candied for wedding cake decorations.  Johnny-jumpups and pansies can also be candied for decorations.  Other flowers that can be a great addition to salads are calendula (tangy, peppery taste), anise hyssop (anise flavor), dianthus (pinks taste like cloves), lavender, lovage (celery flavor), and roses. Depending on the variety, marigolds can have a peppery taste or a citrus zing.  Squash blossoms have been used in salads, but are also stuffed, sauteed, or breaded and deep fried whole.


Salad SpinnerThough you wash salad greens thoroughly, you don’t want the leaves to remain wet or your salad dressings will slide right off. That’s why a salad spinner is essential for any home cook. A salad spinner uses centrifugal force to spin the water away from the salad greens to the sides of the container. The large pump action ones are the best. You don’t have to crank the thing. You just pump the pump in the middle and around the salad basket goes. It has a non-skid base to keep the spinner from flying around your kitchen and comes with a brake that will slow the basket so you can dive right into your greens. 

Some models come with a suction cup base and others have a crank on top instead of a pump. Whatever model you get, make sure it the basket comes with a solid bottomed bowl. There are some out there with holes in the bottom so you have to use them over the sink. Otherwise, you get water all over the place.


LettuceThe foundation of most salads is a leafy green, usually lettuce.  A member of the daisy family, lettuce is thought to have come from Central Asia and was cultivated in the royal gardens of Persia around 500 BC. Four main types of lettuce exist today:  looseleaf, cos (romaine), butterhead, and crisphead (Iceberg).  Looseleaf varieties include black-seeded Simpson, Oakleaf, Salad Bowl, and the red varieties (Red Sails and Red Salad Bowl). Butterhead lettuces, Bibb and Boston, are most prized by chefs for their tender, sweet leaves.  Romaine lettuce is crisper than looseleaf and has a longer shelf life. Escarole, a peppery green, is highly prized for its peppery taste and its spiky look.


SaladWhen we think of summer, cooking in a hot kitchen is the last thing we want to do. That’s why salads, cold soups, and quick grilled entrees have become some of summer greatest culinary pleasures. This week, we’re going to look at salads and salad dressings.

Any vegetable can be used in a salad, either as the base or as a delicious tidbit in a lovely bowl of lettuce. Leftover cooked vegetables (lima beans, broccoli, peas, asparagus, carrots, beets, etc.) are great additions, as well as many of their counterparts served raw.  Sprouts, raisins, celery, various nuts, onions, garlic, capers, and olives are also great in salads. Even sliced apples, pears, mangoes, and oranges can add sweet taste and texture.  Cheeses and cooked meats and chicken can kick up a salad from a beginning or ending of a meal to its main attraction. Edible flowers have historically been used in salads. They can be ordered from organic gardeners or from food suppliers.

Chef Scott suggests serving a salad at the end of a meal or between courses to cleanse the palate and prepare for a luscious dessert or piquant course.


Advertisement

{solspace:toolbar}