Monday, March 25, 2013

Salad of Mixed Greens and Cara Cara Oranges with Basic Vinaigrette Dressing 季節の葉野菜とカラカラオレンジのサラダ、基本のヴィネグレット・ドレッシング





  • 非金属(お酢の酸対策)の容器に注いだ赤ワインヴィネガーに細かく刻んだ少量のニンニク(大きさにもよるけど1~2カケ)を漬け、30分ほど置く
  • ニンニクの風味がお酢に移ったかな、というところでオリーブ油を加える
  • ワインヴィネガーとオリーブ油の比率は1:4~1:5といったところ
  • お酢と油が分離しないよう、ほんの少量(入れすぎるとマスタード臭くなるので)のディジョンマスタードを加え、泡立て器などで良く撹拌する
  • 和える際には野菜の歯ごたえと形状に気をつけながら全ての材料がうっすらとコートされるように良く混ぜ合わせる
To be totally honest, I've learned to appreciate how good vegetables can taste fairly recently (the last 5~6 years, perhaps), but these days I find myself making regular trips to the local farmer's markets (in San Francisco) to seek tasty vegetables of the season. 

It may seem awfully simplistic to make salads out of such fine vegetables, but after learning some techniques on making good salad (such as how to use oil and salt, and how to prep the vegetables) from the recipes of a famous Napa restaurant, I find myself enjoying making and eating salads - what I previously ate out of a sense of obligation to have a "balanced" meal.

The pictured is one of such salads that I made. Washed a spring mix of leafy vegetables in ice water, then removed the excess water (critical step to have a crispy texture) with a salad spinner before gently tossing with a simple vinaigrette (see below) so that the vegetables are evenly and thinly coated - and only seasoning with salt and pepper immediately before serving (also critical: salt added too early will rob the vegetables of its crispiness). Finished with some Cara Cara oranges to add some sweetness.

How to make a simple vinaigrette:
  • Pour a bit of red wine vinegar into a non-metallic bowl, then add a small amount (1~2 cloves, perhaps) of finely chopped garlic, let stand for 30 minutes or so
  • When you feel that the vinegar is infused with garlic flavor, add olive oil
  • Ratio of vinegar to oil: 1:4 to 1:5 depending on your taste
  • Add a dash of Dijon mustard to emulsify the oil - unless you want a strong mustard flavor, keep the amount very small, mix well
  • When tossing the salad, toss well so all the vegetables are thinly coated, but be gentle so the vegetables maintain their original shape and texture

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