Skip to main content

The Salad Side

Fresh, crisp, zesty, sweet, savory and salty, how do you make your salad?   My friends are always asking me how I make such interesting salads, my answer, I really don't know!  Well I guess that it's not entirely true since I do know a thing or two about a vinaigrette but in all reality I make them up as I go.  For starters, think of what you like in your salads; crunchy, salty, sweet, tart, soft...  Or when in doubt, romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, garlic croutons and  creamy Caesar dressing, right? Now that I call boring!  

I got home late one night, opened the fridge and saw romaine lettuce, bacon and shrimp.  First thoughts - wash lettuce, cook bacon, use bacon grease to cook shrimps, chop garlic, oooooh geeez, I hope I have green onions.  Yup, that about sums up how my mind thinks when I see food. What can I do to it to make it better/interesting? The dressing; Dijon vinaigrette with bacon drippings... Heaven!

Was one of the best salads I've had in a long time...



South Beach has to be my favorite place to sit and people watch while enjoying a fresh crisp salad.  My favorite spot; Big Pink.  Oh Big Pink how I love your frozen limeade along side your Spicy Vietnamese skirt steak salad topped with your delightful Sriracha vinaigrette.  I dream about this at least once a week, if not more!  
Big Pink is where I fell in love with using sriracha in a vinaigrette.  Adding this miracle hot sauce to a basic vinaigrette adds this "Je ne sais quoi" to any salad, this I guarantee.  
  


Don't forget the "Bucket of homemade chips and dips" truly divine!

So how to make a salad that will keep you craving more?  Make it your own.  Use fresh, ripe, crisp ingredients that excite your taste buds and leave you wanting more!  Don't be shy to be creative; try new things that's my motto.  


Garlic Bacon Shrimp Salad:
Serving size 2

1 head of crisp romaine lettuce
6 jumbo raw shrimps cleaned and de-veined
6 slices of thick cut smoked bacon
3 shallots (green onions) finely chopped
1 cloves garlic chopped
1 crisp cucumber sliced thick
Cherry tomatoes cut in half

Vinaigrette
fresh ground black pepper
coarse kosher salt (or any salt)
1 lemon juiced
1 clove of garlic chopped
onion and garlic powder about a teaspoon each
splash of Sriracha (just a splash, do not over power the bacon flavor)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot (green onion) chopped
about 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp real mayonnaise (no Miracle whip here!!!)
dripping from bacon (bacon grease, yummmm)


Wash and dry the lettuce well, nothing worse than wet lettuce in a salad.  Chop it into your ideal size pieces.  Wash then slice cucumbers on a bias, thick cut always adds great crunch to a salad.    Plate the lettuce and cucumber and set aside. 
Start cooking the bacon, extra crispy for me.  Once bacon is cooked, drain on paper towel and set aside.  Pour bacon grease into a dish for now, leaving only about half a tablespoon in the skillet.  Add 1 clove of chopped garlic, 3 of the chopped greens onions and saute for about a minute.   Add 6 shrimp and cook till shrimps are pink, not translucent.  Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.  

Bacon Vinaigrette
In a bowl, combine 1 tsp bacon grease, half a lemon juiced, garlic, salt, pepper, Sriracha, garlic and onion powder.  Mix well.  Add Dijon and mayo, continue to mix well.  While mixing the dressing, slowly add the olive oil.  Once you adjust the dressing to your taste, add green onions.

Assemble the salad as you wish and top with a drizzle of the vinaigrette.  Do not over dress the salad; under-dressing is key as you can always add more!










Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lavanderia - A Tale of a Lunch and a Dinner

My sister works at Victoria Park along with my best friend, so on a random Wednesday, I headed to Westmount to meet them for lunch.  The casual warm setting of Lavanderia was very relaxing.  I loved the calming colours and homey feel to the place as it does pay tribute to Chef Antonio Park's childhood home above his parent's Lavanderia or laundromat - Hence the name!



We started our lunch with a coconut fish broth soup served in these adorable little cast iron bowls.  The broth was full of flavour, creamy and smooth.  The chunks of potatoes were tender and soaked up the flavour of the broth perfectly.  I can see why my friend claims this is her favourite soup!



As my main, I opted for the grilled calamari.  A fresh made corn tortilla piled high with calamari and a light delicious mixed salad.  I was excited for this dish and dug right in.  I have to say, I expected the calamari to be significantly tender and carry that delicious charred flavour and it did, just the tenderness was …

Spiga; Italian cuisine on a French Island

Spiga Grand Case, St. Martin

Since travelling to Italy, I have become such a snob when it comes to eating Italian food.  I don't enjoy pizza as much, except for a couple of places, pasta dishes seem bland and tasteless, and don't get me started on the meats.  I just don't get it.  Italian food used to be my favourite, but now, I just keep dreaming of the day I can go back and eat till  explode, literally!  I am saved sometimes as my co-worker is a from Italy and happens to be a killer cook.  She satisfies my gnocchi craving when I need it the most.  So when I came across Spiga on my restaurant quest of St. Martin, I was cautious, but hopeful.  
We parked like typical locals, squished on some lawn on the side of the road, and walked in to the very cute restaurant.  It was quite busy, one table in particular was overly rowdy and obnoxious, nevertheless we were seated very quickly, a very big plus in my books.  We sat down, ordered drinks and waited hungrily to order our mains. …

Le Santal, the very best of St. Martin

Vacation time is always the best time.  Planning every part of your trip and then finally getting to experience everything you hoped for.  This year, my girlfriends and I planned a last minute spontaneous trip to St. Martin with a stop in Anguilla.  I of course was excited for all the food.  The research started once my flight was booked, and did not stop until I felt we had more than enough options.  I can get obsessive, so I had to really narrow down my list.  At the top of my list were a few, but one kept reappearing, Le Santal.  




Sitting on the beautiful beach of Sandy Ground St. Martin, Le Santal blew my expectations like no other restaurant has ever done before.  We pulled up to the restaurant where the valet and hostess were waiting for us.  Our car was taken to the parking lot and we were escorted to our table.  Our table was overlooking the water, so beautiful so calming, we really enjoyed the view.  
The restaurant is gorgeous.  Elegantly decorated in whites and blues, it real…