Back in March, one of my blogger friends shared a post she’d written about Blogging for Books. I was immediately interested in doing it myself and went right to their website and signed up! My first review was for Clean Slate. After I did that review, I ordered another book right away and received this one: Salad Love! Now, I realize that it is now six months later since I initially received this book. I am glad there is no deadline for reviews or else I’d be in trouble.
It’s hard to stay organized these days when I’m juggling my full time job, my blog, and my private practice! Hopefully I learn some techiniques for organization this weekend at Blog Brulee. This morning I’m on a plane to Burlington, Vermont to spend the weekend with 18 other food bloggers to network and learn lots about food blogging. I’m bringing my new DSLR camera and hoping someone can give me some beginner tips!
Here’s the book! Salad Love, by David Bez (published by Clarkson/Potter in 2014). There’s 260 crunchy, savory and filling salads you can make every day! This book has a cool story behind it. The author was determined to eat more vegetables for lunch, so he embarked on a year-long challenge to create one new salad every day using seasonal, healthy ingredients. This book highlights his favorites.
These salads go beyond your typical combo of lettuce, protein and toppings to create vibrant plant-based meals that offer something for everyone.
The book is separated out into four sections– summer, fall, winter and spring. Each page has a large, colorful photo that beautifully and clearly shows all ingredients. Each salad has it’s own dressing.
The salad I chose to make first was the Oak-Smoked Cheddar, Plums and Raspberries. I really just used this book for inspiration– I had all intentions of making the same salad, but when I got to the store, they didn’t have oak-smoked cheddar, yellow plums, or raspberries. I went to two different stores and neither has raspberries. Where did they go?? Are they out of season already? Sad. Anyway– I substituted creamy Havarti cheese (new fav), regular plums, and added cherry tomatoes and roasted sunflower seeds. It still looks pretty similar, right?
I think the whole purpose of this book is to show you just how many options you have for salads. The possibilities are endless. In the beginning of the book, David walks you through his steps on how to assemble a salad: a base, fruit and veggies, protein, toppings, fresh herbs, and dressing/spices.
There’s so much more to salads than romaine or iceberg lettuce. The author suggests radicchio, baby spinach, red oakleaf, mache, or watercress. He even suggests using veggies as a base– cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, parsnips, cucumber, or asparagus chopped into little pieces or shaved.
Step two is choosing veggies and fruit– he suggests cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, bell peppers, onion, blueberries, avocado, potatoes, carrots, green beans, artichokes.. the list is endless!
Adding protein not only adds flavor to your salad, but it adds flavor as well. You can get protein from meats (chicken, duck, lamb, turkey, beef, pork), seafood (cod, tuna, crab, sole, haddock, lobster, shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops), eggs, cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, Brie, cottage cheese, goat cheese, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, halloumi, Gouda), soy products such as tofu, beans (lentils, pinto, kidney, black beans, chickpeas), grains (quinoa, wheat, couscous, rice, barley, rye, oats), or even nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds).
Toppings should be salty, nutty, or sweet. You only need a tablespoon or two to brighten the overall combination of the salad. Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, and they’re full of heart healthy fats. Pickled veggies such as olives, capers, or pearl onions boost the savoriness. Fresh herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro, oregano, or parsley make a salad taste and smell amazing.
The dressing is what really makes the salad. You want to balance sweet oiliness (oil or nuts), sourness (vinegar, soy sauce, or citrus), and a bit of saltiness and spice. Leafy greens should only be dressed right before serving or they’ll become soggy. Dried herbs, spices and other ingredients (basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cumin, pepper, cayenne, ginger, paprika) play an important role in the flavor you want your salad to have. It’s not just about salt and pepper.
I made a Spinach Salad with Havarti, Plums & Cherry Tomatoes. Here’s how to make it:
For the salad, assemble:
2 ounces baby spinach
2 plums, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sliced creamy Havarti cheese
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
handful of fresh mint leaves
For the dressing, mix:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar (you can use white wine as a substitute)
Pinch of salt and pepper
What are your favorite salad combos? Do you own, or have you heard of Salad Love?