Salad for a crowd

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by tina zimmerman, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. tina zimmerman

    tina zimmerman

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    What are some examples of salads that hold up well?

    On a buffet line?

    Salads set out early?  Any tips / tricks to keeping them looking nice?

    Thank
     
  2. cosmaki

    cosmaki

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    fully cooked and cooled bowtie pasta

    julliened oil packed sundried tomatoes

    Kalamata olives

    baby spinach

    crumbled feta cheese

    Italian dressing

    this salad will impress and is room temperature stable for 2-3 hours
     
  3. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Tina, 

    I'm hoping you come back for the answers. Many don't . 

    Anyway. How long? 

    Lettuce salad of any kind won't hold up for very long at all but most others should be fine, kept on ice or otherwise cold.

    Cover them with plastic wrap or damp towel, something to keep from drying out. 

    Avoid leaving out predressed salads with a vinaigrette dressing. The vinegar doesn't help the salad hold well. Oil only dressed salads will hold up far longer.  

    If you must have a leafy salad pre dressed, I would do it at the Very Last Minute. If that meant the guests see me do it, so be it. I'll explain the desire to give them fresh food. 
     
  4. jeffcaters

    jeffcaters

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    All of the previous advice I agree with.  For larger events we like to prep the salad in a number of smaller bowls if possible.  In that manner, as soon as the salad bowl is looking a bit "messy" we simply swap it out with a new salad.  If you have the manpower/facilities you can prep them as the event progresses.
     
  5. bohemiankitchenseattle

    bohemiankitchenseattle

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    3 years private chef, brand new to catering (2 events)
    Catering newbie here! I agree with all of the sage advice above. I also love subbing regular lettuce for cabbage in salads that I want to hold up longer. I love a mix of savoy, green and red cabbages. A go to for me is a salad I make with chunky shredded chicken, cranberries, scallion, radishes and green apple (I soak it in acidulated water to keep it from browning- vitamin c powder is cheap in bulk and works well for this). I serve it with my poppy seed dressing. You can nix the chicken to make it a side salad. It's very simple, holds up very well and the two times I've served it I was surprised how quickly it went. (I used three smaller bowls and refreshed them as needed just like jeffcaters recommends.)
     
  6. cronker

    cronker

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    German style potato salad
    Pasta salad
    Any leaf green salads aren't too hard to keep fresh, but as mentioned, keep the dressing in a separate bottle next to the bowl, and keep replenishing small bowls as you go.