Thursday, January 28, 2010

Schizophrenic Salad

I made a craaazzzy salad last night.  This salad was my personal culinary Frankenstein.

I began with good intentions.  I have this thing about salads – I like them to be all one color whenever possible.  If I’m making a red salad, for example, I’ll layer various red vegetables.  I like the play on textures that the red on red creates.

Last night, I decided to create a GREEN salad.  I came up with a list of green salad items:

green olives
peas
zucchini
green peppers
green chilies
pumpkin seeds
avocado
green onion
cucumbers
asparagus
edamame
chopped granny smith apples
fresh artichokes
fennel
green beans
green grapes
granny smith apples
pepperoncini peppers
broccoli
bok choy
kale
spinach
arugula
romaine lettuce
endive
green lentils
lime
okra
kiwi
cabbage
brussel sprouts
honeydew melon
celery
too many herbs to list

Then, I decided to make this a more traditional southern salad, like the ones I was accustomed to growing up.  So I stuck with just:

Mixed greens
Green olives
Green peppers
Green onion
Halved green grapes
Chopped granny smith apples
Steamed and blanched haricots verts (we say this when we wanna be fancy talking about green beans)
Avocado
Cucumbers
Toasted green pumpkin seeds
Pepperoncini peppers

I then pounded out chicken breasts, topped them with cheddar cheese (cause we’re going traditional American here) and sealed the cheese in with prosciutto (non-traditional, but there is no substitute).  I sautéed the chicken and it came out wonderfully, with a crispy prosciutto crust and melted cheese oozing on the inside (recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver). I sliced this delicious meat… and put it on the salad.

Oh yeah… and I made homemade whole wheat croutons, both fried and baked.

I made a quick balsamic vinaigrette but the salad didn’t need it because, well, there was a lot going on there already.

Utter chaos.  The ingredients competed with each other, and my taste buds weren’t sure what was going on.  First I tasted olives and cheese, then I tasted avocado and olives, then apples.  It just didn’t blend.

Next time I am tempted to go ingredient overload, I’ll remember to select 2 or 3 main ingredients, and let them compliment each other.

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