Slice Of Life
By Eileen Goltz
Salad is a big part of summer, and I guess you could call me a lettuce peasant. I like iceberg. I know, all you salad-greens snobs are now rolling your eyes and thinking, “Seriously, this woman has a culinary degree and she likes . . . iceberg lettuce?” How 1950s. Well, let me tell you, when I was growing up, a wedge of iceberg smothered in Thousand Island dressing with a couple of tomatoes on the side was the salade composé.
Somewhere in the ’70s and ’80s, salads became an art form rather than a side dish. Blame it on Martha Stewart, Julia Child, or even Graham Kerr (look him up), but salads became as important as the main course. In order to create them, new and improved ingredients needed to be utilized and, voilà, specialty lettuces and greens came into fashion. Granted, none of these cookbook authors wrote kosher cookbooks. However, many of the salads in their cookbooks are kosher-friendly (easily converted) or just plain old kosher because, well, every ingredient is kosher.
In order to understand a salad, knowing the origins of its basic ingredients is important. There are basically five types of lettuce: leaf, Cos (a.k.a. romaine), crisp head, butter head, and stem. With oh-so-many varieties within these types, you can pick your favorites to combine into a simple salad of just greens or a jumble of veggies to create a culinary masterpiece. Other greens like spinach, arugula, radicchio, or escarole can be added to your lettuce and give you a salad fit for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Note: Lettuce is a dirt-and-bug magnet, so make sure you wash, wash, wash it before you use it. While the bagged stuff is fine if you’re in a hurry, fresh is best.
Simple Seafood Salad
2 cups black olives, sliced
2 cups flaked smoked whitefish
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups celery, diced
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced
3 cups romaine and bib lettuce, chopped
1 cup olive oil
½ cup white-wine vinegar
½ cup minced parsley
Put all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently, but thoroughly.
Submitted by Ronnie McKay, Indianapolis
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
¼ cup minced parsley
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 heads of romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
1 handful of arugula
8 radishes, sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
10–12 strawberries, sliced
In a bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix to combine. In a salad bowl, combine the fennel and the salad dressing. Mix to coat. Add the lettuce, radishes, and green onion. Season with salt and pepper. Add the strawberries and mix to combine.
⅓ cup vegetable broth
¼ cup red- or white-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups finely chopped iceberg lettuce
½ cup finely chopped radicchio
½ cup thinly sliced Belgian endive (about 1 small head)
1½ cups finely chopped English cucumber
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely shredded carrot
1¾ cups finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup diced, seeded plum tomato (about 4 tomatoes)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
2 cups diced, cooked beets
3 hard-boiled large eggs, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Dressing: In a jar with a tight lid, combine the broth, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, Italian dressing, pepper, and garlic. Cover and shake to combine.
To prepare the salad, arrange the romaine in the bottom of a 2-quart glass bowl or trifle dish; top with iceberg. Layer radicchio, endive, cucumber, celery, carrot, bell pepper, tomato, red onion, and green onion evenly over lettuces. Drizzle with dressing. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Arrange beets over green onions; top with eggs. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Modified from a recipe by Marcy Goldman, Cooking Light, April 2004
Raspberry Lettuce Salad
1½ cups Italian dressing
2 cups fresh raspberries
¼ cup sugar
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn
2 cups baby spinach
1 head bib lettuce, torn
8-oz. can hearts of palm, drained and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
½ cup chopped pecans
In a blender or food processor, combine the Italian dressing, 1 cup of the raspberries, and the sugar, and blend until smooth.
In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, hearts of palm, yellow pepper, and the remaining raspberries. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the pecans over the top and serve.
My files, source unknown
Broccoli Greens Salad
1 bag frozen broccoli, defrosted
½ cup sliced black olives
1 head romaine lettuce leaves sliced into strips
1 head red leaf or iceberg lettuce sliced into strips
½ cup toasted pistachios
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
In a bowl, combine the broccoli, olives, lettuce, and pistachios with the vinegar and olive oil. Mix to combine, add the avocado, and gently mix to combine. Serve topped with the feta and a pinch of salt if needed. You can use any remaining vinaigrette to drizzle over all sorts of vegetables, frittatas, bread, savory tarts, and the like.
Modified from yummly.com
© Eileen Goltz
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago, kosherscoop.com, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, www.ou.org. She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).