I was going to bring a tossed salad to a small pot luck I attended on Saturday — but suddenly remembering there was some frozen smoked salmon from Costco in the fridge, and that I’d bought endives, I decided I should be more festive and creative. Besides, this was to be a smaller crowd than usual, so my salad would have Space to Sprawl, and still have the chance to fill the attendees. I have Mother’s old large glass circular serving platter upon which we’d been treated to many happy repasts years ago, mostly in the presence of company, so I pulled that out, and went layered.
So, here we go!
Prep time: 25-30 minutes including arranging.
Salad dressing if you make your own: 5 minutes.
Cook time: for hard-cooking the eggs, allot 15 minutes which includes bringing the eggs in salted water to a boil*, then turning range off and letting them sit there for ten minutes.
Rest time: not needed
It seems to have served eight!
Layered Salad Platter Featuring a Lot of Goodies Including Smoked Salmon
* 1 whole Bibb lettuce, broken into leaves
* 1/2 cup, approximately, of red cabbage, sliced thin and shredded (for presentation purposes, color is important.)
* 2 endives, leaves separated into “boats” — the center part reserved for future salad tossings.
* 5 ounces smoked salmon, broken into thin slivers and slices
* 10-12 ounces grape tomatoes, halved.
* 3-4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced into halves or thirds, long way.
* 2 stalks of jarred hearts of palm, sliced into 1/4 inch coins — I get them from Costco but BJ’s also carries them
* About 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and lightly dried. (Another fun Costco source, although for these they sell enough to last a year. Or two. Fortunately the brine is a preservative.)
* A handful of fresh basil, smaller leaves intact, larger chopped into two or three pieces.
* A vinaigrette salad dressing (see below for a suggestion).
Assembly: Be creative! Look at the design of your serving platter! I laid down the bib lettuce on the bottom, scattered cabbage on top, arranged the endive boats, added salmon and the tomatoes to them, scattered around the extra tomato and the hearts of palm, circled the egg slices around the outside, with the last slices in the center, topped the center with a bit more salmon, added the capers and basil all over. At any rate, do what inspires you, and what works with your serving platter!
Since the salad dressing was thin, and was going to fall out of “emulsion” before it could be poured, I added the dressing to the entire platter just before serving at the event. “Serve yourself” would end up meaning that the first folks would likely get all the oil and the last folks would get all the vinegar. Thus, I purposefully kept the total volume to minimum. Just enough that healthy oils would aid nutrient absorption… well, okay I didn’t think of it that way when I was preparing this, but it’s true.
I understand the “perfect” ratio of oil to vinegar in salad dressings should be 4:1 or in a pinch, 3:1. I prefer 2:1.
* 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil.
* 1.5 ounces red wine vinegar.
* 1/4 inch (more or less) finely shredded ginger
* Two teaspoons Herbes de Provence (in my case, from Penzy’s)
* A pinch of sea salt, and a little ground pepper to taste
Shake extremely just before serving. The amount I made was a little less than described above, but this will give you a little spare. (And not have to make me do math for either of us…)
There were seven of us attending the dinner. There was just enough salad left over for my breakfast this morning. Well, all the smoked salmon was long gone, but hey, I had some of my egg-providing morning protein along with some good fresh veggies! (I am seriously trying to make all THREE of the traditional meals contain some veggies — it fails on mornings when I am in a rush to get to work, but otherwise…)
- PS: If you don’t know about the value of boiling eggs in salted water, check this earlier post of mine out. (Hint, it relates to osmotic pressure on weak-shelled eggs. Add salt to the cooking water!)
This dish was a true success.