Composed salads are wonderful on so many fronts. First, they let your inner artist out to play…with the plate as your canvas and fresh greens, fruits and produce as your paints. They are super easy to compose, whether you are making two or twenty, it’s simply a line up of plates and a layering of ingredients. They make a lovely presentation, especially if you are beginning your service with a salad… or, if your salad will be served as the “star” of your show.
Whenever I think of a composed salad there’s always a starting point…the impetus that sets my direction. In this plating, it was the thought of how lovely (and yummy) Stemilt’s ruby red, fresh cherries would be if set amongst a handful of ethereally dusted walnuts laid atop a pillowed bed of delicate Butter lettuce.
Powdered-sugar dusted walnuts are so easy to prep and lend such a playful, yet elegant touch to a salad. Feeling that the “greens” needed to lend the same elegant form, large leaves of butter lettuce set the foundation of this plating, with lightly blanched haricot verts nestled alongside and thin slices of fresh fennel dotted atop. And the star: sweet, delicious, brilliantly hued Stemilt cherries… lending a delightful fruity pop of flavor to this plated medley. To cap it all off… the subtly sweet, delicate flavor of this fresh cherry salad is popped, ever so lightly, with a honey-lime zest infused cannelle of Chévre cheese and a drizzle of citrusy champagne vinaigrette.
The beauty of this salad, apart from its vibrant color and form, is its simplicity and flavor. Composed salads are meant to be little works of art. And yet, just like a salad that is chopped and tossed, the components needs to mix and mingle well not only in color and form…but most importantly, flavor. You want to taste bits of this and that and be satisfied with every bite.
Here, all the components of this composed salad play beautifully together as a delicious canvas of flavor, texture and mix of fresh, healthy ingredients that are sure to please both palate and eye. Enjoy!