Salad ideas...

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Joined Feb 2, 2003
Can anyone suggest some good salad recipes and ideas they could share with me? Im in the process of improving a busy lunch time salad bar and would like to jazz the whole thing up with some impressive looking and tasting salads and dressings.

I've got a few good ideas to get me going but am always open to new trends that have proved successful. A large percentage of our customers are female and seem to be dieting after the heavy Christmas period and so our salad bar is busy every day. I imagine as Spring and then Summer approach business will be even more hectic.

I really want things to improve in standard quickly as it seems that before my arrival the whole operation of the chilled salad and deli bars suffered with predictable combinations like your basic coleslaws and waldorf salads.

Anyway all advice appreciated. Cheers. :)
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
beet and apple with dijon dressing
orzo with raisins, onions, carrots and a lemon dressing
I like feta and blue cheese on a salad
I had a great grain, lentil salad with calamatas, feta and tomatoes last night
 
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Joined Jan 26, 2003
I enjoy salads several times a week. A pear and roguefort salad on mixed greens is a personal favorite. Recently I added orange sections and toasted pine nuts and made an Orange Vinaigrette. It was delicious. I also enjoy a well made chicken salad. There are so many options with chicken salad you can go traditional with the grapes, toasted almonds, a little relish (I am from the south), etc.. or, a little gourmet with some rehydrated dried fruit (mangoes?) and pistachios. Instead of the standard coleslaw maybe an Asian coleslaw with a light tasting dressing loaded with vegetables. I also like angel hair pasta tossed with a little sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Also, in my opinion nothing beats a great Balsamic vinaigrette. A little goes a long way so the ladies may go for that. Hope this helps.
 
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Joined Feb 2, 2003
Yeah great stuff :D .

I like feta on a salad. Whenever im over in Greece I live on Greek salads. Blue cheese is good. Ive sort of done a stilton grape and pecan nut salad before. Grapes always work well with blue cheeses. Anyone know anything with Brie? Like Stilton, ive always got lots of the stuff around my fridges.

The few ideas ive jotted down so far are...

A classic Nicoise done well

A kinda Thai noodle salad with freshly chopped coriander, spring onions, prawns, chilli and a handful of peanuts or pistachios for that crunch. Then a soy, ginger and lime dressing.

A roasted winter veg salad reduced in a little balsamic and cooled. Hmm not sure about this one. Just an idea I had.

A cous cous or rice salad with some almonds and orange segments or even apricots. Ground cumin and nutmeg. Fresh corander. Lemon dressing. Could even mix in a few chick peas and give it a sort of Arabic/North African twist.

Spinach, cherry tom, pine nut and olive pasta salad

Ive got a few other simpler little ideas like cucumber and feta, minted cucumber etc. Cherry toms with stuffed olives.

Im stuck with red cabbage. The obvious thing would be to pickle it. As ive said though I want to avoid obvious and easy. Is there a way of turning sweet red cabbage into a salad?

More pasta suggestions?

Ideas with fish? Salmon and butterbean?
 
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Joined Jan 26, 2003
Great ideas. How about a winter roasted root vege salad prepared somewhat like potato salad?

Red cabbage is pretty tough for me. You may pickle it and serve it German style with some pickled onion, and cucumbers. Too much vinegar?

Pasta salads, hmm. How about Penne, chicken, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese. You could also add seafood to a pasta salad.

Cous Cous makes an excellent salad. It takes on the taste of the dressing adds a nice texture and holds up well.

Have you thought about croutons for your more traditional salads. A good crouton is hard to find. How about parmesan crisps and things like that.

Homemade crackers may add an interesting touch. Also, beans are a very popular lowfat source of protein. I'll try to think of a way to dress them up.
 
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Joined Feb 2, 2003
Dickie,

Cheers for your ideas mate. Much appreciated. You got me thinking now :)

Winter roasted root veg salad. Like it. Another i'd thought of was a sort of crunchy bombay salad. Like cold bombay potato's with celery or radish for some real crunch and flavour.

Red cabbage. I braise the stuff regularly and sweeten it up. Lovely stuff. So ive always got some about the kitchen.

Pasta is great with salads and just about anything meat, fish, veg, cheese works with it. The options available are unlimited.

Yeah cous cous with oranges, prunes or apricots. Mmm. Coriander, chick peas, a little spice and suddenly you've got a mouth watering Morroccan style salad. I recently entered a competition and stuck to a North African sort of theme so im happy with what I want to do with cous cous.

Croutons are great. I tend to offer them on the side though unless I do a caesar salad of some kind.

Crackers? Do you mean like home made bread sticks?

I like beans in salads. Borlotti, butterbeans, red kidney. Just thrown together with a nice dressing their brilliant. Any ideas of some combinations with other ingredients?

Not really salad related but get a can or two of the classic heinz baked beans wash off the tomato sauce and fry them off in a little veg oil, garlic and dried chilli's. Mash them as you stir. Its similar to the mexican refried bean dip. Lovely for dunking some tortilla chips in while watching a film at home. I wouldnt dream of doing this at work though lol. :)
 
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
I guess I'll jump in too---

Chilled quinoa salad with chopped cucumbers, drained black beans and chopped cilantro with a lime/olive oil vinaigrette

Chilled barley mixed with thin slices of grilled top round, red onion, scallions, toasted pine nuts and cilantro-sherry vinaigrette

Cubes of smoked turkey and Swiss cheese (I like french Madrigal or Comte) mixed with celery chevrons and red grapes in a green peppercorn and sherry vinaigrette

Texas caviar!-Black-eye peas, diced red, green & yellow peppers, red onion, chopped tomato in a cumin & chili scented french dressing

As for the red cabbage--slice it, mix with fine julienne of carrot and scallion-dress with sweet raspberry vinaigrette.
 
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Joined Mar 28, 2001
Hi Robbo,
Red Cabbage.... hmmm
Here's one I had a while back and it was yummmmm!
Julienne red and green cabbage and green onions, add chunks of tofu, make dressing with sweet soy, ginger, garlic, mirin, rice vinegar, chilli sauce.
Toss salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds, crushed roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro.
 
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Joined Jan 26, 2003
Robbo,
Breadsticks are a great idea, different ones like sesame or parmesan. I was thinking of a thin butter cracker, either herb, pepper or cheese (something like that). You can press them on a sheet pan and cut them in funky shapes prior to baking. They will break apart when cooled. The labor may be too much, but just an idea. Do you have any antipasto ideas? Good luck
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2002
Gado Gado salad with boiled potato, string beans, tofu, hard boiled egg and thai or javanese style peanut sauce. Can serve on a bed of red cabbage

Morrocan carrot salad - cut into what ever shape takes your fancy, julienne, waffle, chunks, whatever, bring carrots to boil, drain and toss while hot with fresh lemon, touch of sugar, cumin, S & P, let cool and add chopped cilantro before serving.

Julienned carrots, yellow and green squash in a Asian sesame vinaigrette garnished with black sesame seeds.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
how bout a, salad of warm goats cheese ravioli, arugula, roasted mediteranean vegetables, shaved padano grana with a redwine vinegar and rosemary dressing
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
I had this incredible salad at Pierpont's in Kansas City and I've been chasing the recipe ever since.

I think you could use any greens you like. There were fresh pear strips, spiced and glazed walnuts, gorgonzola cheese....and a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette.

It wasn't heavy on the chocolate...but the flavor was simply incredible. As I recall, they garnished with a swirl of melted dark chocolate around the salad.

I've begged. I've searched. You will probably have to develop your own vinaigrette if you choose to try this one.
 
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Joined Feb 22, 2003
I just put a new one on - Grapefruit salad with greyhound viniagrette, walnuts & shaved fennel on wtaercress and frisee. As we all know, a greyhound is vodka & grapefuit juice, right? Reduced grapefruit juice (with a little passionfruit for fun) with citron vodka & emulsified w/canola oil. Yum...
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2002
I just had a great salad today in a funky "press sandwich" place called of all things Press 195 in Park Slope, Brooklyn (NYC). The salad was roasted fresh beets glazed with maple syrup, goats cheese, marinated onion marmalade, roasted portebello sliced very thin and wide, marinated carrots and mesculin with a balsamic honey maple vinaigrette that was perfectly balanced between sweet and tart. It was one of the best salads I have had in years and years.

The sandwich was a very good grilled veggies with spinach, mozzarella and we added proscuitto as an option on pressed (like cuban) ciabatta. Over all the meal was yummy and very reasonable for the quantity and especially quality!
 
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Joined Feb 14, 2003
i'm a salad freak and pretty much will put anything i love mixed in a salad as long as they go together. i don't care how pedestrian Caesar salads have become but one of my favorites is still a wonderful Classic Caesar with lots of sharp flavors, including shaved Pecorino but topping it with a nice filet of poached salmon and adding diced tomatoes. That's it. also, with all the cous cous talk, i love making salads of all kinds with toasted Israeli cous cous. the nuttiness and big bite of it is a nice change to the small variety and it is awesome when it's introduced with citrus of any kind. Panzanella is also a classic that you can play around with for your menu. but, as a rule, i think of my favorite foods on a dinner plate and think of how they would be cold in some type of accompanying vinaigrette. salads are bottomless bowls of delight!
 
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