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Let's Face It, Leaves Are Dumb
June 5, 2014 12:52 PM   Subscribe

The Awl: How to make a salad without all those dumb leaves
posted by The Whelk (109 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like both kinds of salads, but I'll pass along this story; a friend of mine's young son sat down to eat lunch one day, saw what was on the table and mournfully declaimed "Why are you making me eat leaves???"
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:57 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


No way, leaves are awesome. Not-leaves are also awesome.
posted by rtha at 12:59 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


I had a co-worker who used to refer to a lunchtime work salad as, "sadness leaves."
posted by agregoli at 1:01 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


This is great, but how could he forget Greek salad?

++ for the som tham mention, though. I like to make it with broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's.
posted by lunasol at 1:02 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I like to make it with broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's.

Yes, TJ's broccoli slaw is my favorite non-leaf-salad-like-item, assuming cole slaw still counts as leaves (which, you know, is sort of the is-a-hot-dog-a-sandwich argument). I could eat a bag of broccoli slaw with a little of TJ's spicy peanut dressing and be pretty happy. Hungry in an hour, but happy.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:05 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


The problem with leaf salads is that it's really hard to get delicious leaves most of the year. Like, fresh romaine or spinach is delicious, but the stuff from a bag tends to be pretty boring.
posted by lunasol at 1:05 PM on June 5


I could eat a bag of broccoli slaw with a little of TJ's spicy peanut dressing and be pretty happy.

Try it with the Greek feta dressing. Yum. Great as a side dish with some grilled chicken.
posted by lunasol at 1:06 PM on June 5


Red onions are disgusting. They overpower everything they come in contact with.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:10 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Why back in my day salads with leafy things were the outliers. A nice green salad meant lime jello and canned pears.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:13 PM on June 5 [13 favorites]


So in fifth grade we put together a class cookbook on family salad recipes. Super-diverse group of kids; the cookbook was full of stuff that ranged from old-school Crab Louie to coleslaws that called for boiled dressing to gado gado. I contributed my mom's recipe for pa muchim (scallion salad), which is really more of a banchan/condiment/side than a SALAD salad, but is totally tasty. Note that it is a "salad" of shredded scallions tossed with rice vinegar and sugar and sesame and Korean chili powder. No other leaves or not-leaves. It is spicy raw onions in a bowl. Probably best appreciated as a dab on top of some galbi and rice and wrapped up in a lettuce leaf, not in a huge forkful by itself, but 9-year-old me forgot to let people know that.

I still have the cookbook, but am still a little embarrassed when I remember the potluck day.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:13 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


imo, if you have to put fat on a salad to make it palatable, you've got the wrong ingerdients. I have a really nice salad bar at work, with lots of variety, and I never use dressing. Instead, I heap on the orange slices, olives, pickled jalapenos, cottaged cheese, and whatever meat or veg they happen to have on hand.

I was surprised at how quickly I got used to mixing sweet (fruit), sour (pickled jalapenos), salty (olives) and savory (cheese).
posted by rebent at 1:16 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I'd be worried if my salad leaves weren't dumb.
posted by telstar at 1:17 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


What would salad say if it could talk?
posted by spicynuts at 1:18 PM on June 5


Bagged broccoli slaw is basically the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I have never actually had a som tum that was not so hot that, while I could not stop eating it, I also began to gently hallucinate. I'd love to actually taste it some time.

With this being grilling season, let me strongly recommend grilling halved heads of romaine, endive, or radiccio. It goes smoky-sweet, and barely needs dressing - a drizzle of vinegar or lemon/lime/orange/yuzu juice will do. I like a sprinkle of goat or blue cheese crumbles the moment it comes off the heat so it gets soft, as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:18 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


is-a-hot-dog-a-sandwich argument

oh god what have you done
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM on June 5 [21 favorites]


Embrace the leaves, but chop them finely.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:19 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Thai green papaya salad is amazing.
posted by scose at 1:20 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Red onions are disgusting. They overpower everything they come in contact with.

That's why I used to eat a red onion raw in the morning. Wakes you up faster than coffee.
posted by The Whelk at 1:21 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Let's Face It, Leaves Are Dumb

I'm a vegan, and I approve of this message.

For real though, whenever someone who has no grasp of what veganism actually entails swears up and down that I will definitely have something to eat at a given dinner-inclusive event, it's gonna be one of two things: hummus and pita or a big bowl of lettuce with no dressing, no croutons, and maybe a sad little cherry tomato on top.

I eat literally every single food that is not derived from an animal. Vegetables and fruits and grains and legumes, oils and vinegars and sauces galore. Get the fuck out of here with this dry iceberg bullshit, man. The expectation that 'vegan' = 'will happily eat multiple bowls of unadorned leaves in place of an actual meal' has made me swear off what most people refer to as 'salad' forever. If I had a nickle for every person who expressed sincere surprise when I turned down their bowl of plain lettuce, I'd... well, I'd have a shitload of nickles.

Now this is a goddamn salad. (And this. And this!)
This is not.
posted by divined by radio at 1:21 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


rebent: having some fats present increases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K) from your vegetables. Salad dressing is healthy! It doesn't take much though, so your cheese might do it.
posted by agentofselection at 1:21 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


The hegemony of lettuce* must be crushed.

* I used to think that the proper pronunciation was /le-too-chay/. Serves the fucker right.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:25 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Why the hell is coleslaw not on that list?

Coleslaw can be made with or without mayo.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:26 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I may have made this post so I could figure out how to make a side salad for dinner using the random and measly stuff in my fridge.
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Shredded Brussels Sprouts tossed in a slightly sweet dressing, with bacon, finely diced egg, toasted hazelnuts and shaved Parmesan.

tell no one.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:29 PM on June 5 [27 favorites]


My grandfather, a kosher butcher, used to say "Let the cows eat the grass."
posted by gwint at 1:29 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Let's Face It, Leaves Are Dumb

What would salad say if it could talk?


YAWP
posted by Your friend sounds kind of lame. at 1:30 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I flog this particular cookbook in AskMe kind of frequently for one big reason - even though it says it's "only" soups and salads, it is mind-blowing in its variety. I think only 10% of the "salads" they feature involve "tossed green" leaves of anything; there are a ton of grain salads, single-vegetable salads, bean salads, pasta salads, warm salads, you name it. Three of the salads - their Sichuan noodles, their "French pasta salad," and a barley salad with pecans, bell pepper, and grapes - have all made it into heavy summer mealtime rotation for me.

I also belong to a CSA in Brooklyn, and at every week's distribution they give us all either a half-pound of mesclun salad greens or a head of green lettuce. The first couple weeks everyone happily takes them, but as the weeks wear on you see more and more people leaving the salad greens unclaimed, and a lot of people are grumbling that "I have so much of these god-damn salad greens in my fridge already it's stupid". I've actually recommended to our leaders that they back off on the salad, but...they've only abated slightly. I don't know what it is about leaves, some people think it isn't a salad without 'em.

Then again, last night when I didn't know what else to do for dinner (I wasn't enormously hungry) I finally just took some leftover roast chicken and sliced a radish, and dumped them on top of a handful of the mesclun. Somehow eating the roast chicken and the radish felt like I was just snacking, but putting it on top of a bed of greens made it feel more...meal-like. Maybe that's the purpose of greens, they're the glue that holds everything else together.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Red onions are disgusting. They overpower everything they come in contact with.

True. People pretend they're milder, but a raw onion is still a raw onion, still something to eat around on that salad or pick out of that sandwich.

They can be good if chopped fine and measured out by the teaspoon (as in tabouli), but few people show that kind of restraint.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:38 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Them's fightin' words! I'm just not sure which side I'm on yet.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:41 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Shredded Brussels Sprouts tossed in a slightly sweet dressing, with bacon, finely diced egg, toasted hazelnuts and shaved Parmesan.

tell no one.



You know the recipe is good when it ends with a threat.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:42 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


imo, if you have to put fat on a salad to make it palatable, you've got the wrong ingerdients. I have a really nice salad bar at work, with lots of variety, and I never use dressing. Instead, I heap on the orange slices, olives, pickled jalapenos, cottaged cheese, and whatever meat or veg they happen to have on hand.

This, oh so much this. I hate that most salads in the US (at least in restaurants) seem to be some version of mayo-and-some-stuff. We also have a salad bar as work, and I make dressing-less and leaf-less salads all the time, to the point that several of my friends have started referring to them as Joanne Salad. Joanne Salad is basically black beans and/or chickpeas and/or edamame, plus shredded carrot, plus mushrooms, plus red seedless grapes and/or strawberries and/or mandarin oranges, plus some (dry, raw) broccoli slaw if I have it. The fruit and the beans are wet enough to make everything kind of salad-y rather than just being a bunch of ingredients anti-socially ignoring each other in the bowl.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:45 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


It's not a real salad unless it's got half a pound of steak, melted cheese and french fries on top.
posted by octothorpe at 1:54 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


So do all foods come down to:

a. salads: things chopped and mixed together, but not hot (when served)

b. soups/stews/casseroles/ragouts/and so on (includes desserts and breads): things chopped and mixed together, cooked together, and served in various degrees of runny-ness

c. Lumps of animal flesh (usually cooked)

d. Fruits, grains or vegetables served alone (raw or cooked)

e. Fermented stuff (including booze)
posted by emjaybee at 1:59 PM on June 5


Red onions are disgusting. They overpower everything they come in contact with.

a raw onion is still a raw onion, still something to eat around on that salad or pick out of that sandwich.


I disagree with these but, then, I have been known to take little cups of those raw onions they have at the ballpark condiment bar to eat as a snack. I was so excited when I realized that Nationals stadium has a free onion vending machine!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:59 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


I made coleslaw last week with half a perfectly ripe avocado instead of mayo and it was amaaaaazing.

I love salad.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:03 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH hello celeriac remoulade
posted by the painkiller at 2:03 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


This is basically my dream. I need something crunchy or thick to stab my fork into and make a nice compact little vehicle to my mouth.

My mom looooooooves lettuce. Loves anything leafy. Loves stuff that weighs exactly nothing and tastes accordingly (or exceedingly like a weed -- a BAD weed).

There you have it.
posted by Madamina at 2:07 PM on June 5


ethnomethodologist: "Red onions are disgusting"

YOU SHUT YOUR DIRTY MOUTH!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:12 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Lettuce? I hardly even know us!
posted by spitbull at 2:13 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Hey, americans only eat salad made of gelatine with tinned fruit in - i know, because i read a 1950s american cookbook! Where is your true american salad? I can supply a period recipe with a sugary curry sauce too!
posted by maiamaia at 2:15 PM on June 5


Red onions disgusting? I'll wash your mouth out with soap.

Most salads are pretty sad affairs, though, with no appreciation for either complementary or contrasting flavors or textures. Mostly the result is bland, with a strong second place for indelibly sweet.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:17 PM on June 5


No, listen, it's good that someone hates red onions! More for us!
posted by rtha at 2:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


1. raw onions: you're supposed to soak them in vinegar and warm water for 20-30 minutes to take that nasty bite off - i can't remember, but the whole of europe except UK does it. Fraid i just fry brown ones (the only ones that go sweet) and use that way, due to painful indegestion.
2. cooked salads. After two weeks in Germany and several months in Holland where i never saw a green or a raw thing in a salad - cooked dead animal, cooked potato either plus fried onions, mushrooms & bacon, or plus mayonnaise - was all i saw. Greens, this way please! I love watercress best (this used to be wonderful, nowadays it's sold old, yellow, wilted and tasteless, and they appear to feed it through a mincer before sale: along with nuclear proliferation, it's proof things have got worse as well as better). So crunchy and fresh and peppery. Plus some parsley:)
posted by maiamaia at 2:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Red onions on salads need to be diced and not left in a whole ring. I want a bit of the flavor in each bite, not two overwhelming bites of more than half onion. I am growing to like onions more as I get older, and now I'd like to try some caramelized red onions.
posted by soelo at 2:24 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Grapefruit, avocado, goat cheese, and pickled red onions.

No leaves.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:38 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


I have never actually had a som tum that was not so hot that, while I could not stop eating it, I also began to gently hallucinate. I'd love to actually taste it some time.

This is the problem with som tham in American Thai restaurants: som tham is a street food that is intended to be eaten with lots of sticky rice. When I lived in Thailand, I'd go to the night market and get a baggie full of somtham, which came with a baggie of sticky rice. Then I'd go to the meat cart and get a baggie of perfect grilled pork. (All good food in Thailand comes in baggies)

Thus, the extreme spiciness of the som tham was mediated by the chewy sticky rice and the sweet-savoriness of the grilled pork. It was an absolutely perfect meal - one that I've never been able to replicate in a Thai restaurant in the States. If there were a Thai restaurant here in DC where I could get a nice pile of som tham, plus some perfect, chewy sticky rice and a few pieces of grilled pork on skewers, I'd probably never eat anywhere else.

That said, the first time I ever ate som tham in Thailand, it was brought to me by my Thai roommate on my second day in the country. It was so hot that I couldn't feel my lips for several minutes.
posted by lunasol at 2:48 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


maiamaia: "After two weeks in Germany and several months in Holland where i never saw a green or a raw thing in a salad"

Potato/meat/pasta salads are popular in Germany, no doubt. But I grew up there and green/leafy salads where a near daily thing for us at least.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:54 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


The "Israeli" salad in the link - I make versions of that a lot, though I never thought of it as "Israeli." (I call it "Mediterranean." I've seen it called "Persian" at restaurants too).

Anyway - the trick is... Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers, then toss them in a colander and sprinkle with salt, a couple tablespoons. It sounds like too much but the idea is, you leave them to sit with the salt for a couple hours, and it pulls out the extra water so the resulting salad doesn't become a soggy, watery mess.

Other variations - fresh mint in addition to fresh parsley. Chickpeas. Pasta - I've used orzo, tortellini with any sort of filling. I've also made it with couscous, bulgur, or quinoa.

If you don't have the best tomatoes, try roasting them first.
posted by dnash at 2:56 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I was skeptical of this article right off the bat, because I don't see how you can even put kale and lettuce in the same category, culinarily. Kale kicks ass.

But the recipes look good, so I can forgive.
posted by my favorite orange at 2:58 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Kale fucking sucks and all you people who like it are clearly part of some kale-based alien race trying to colonize the planet there I said it

( watercress is good.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on June 5 [12 favorites]


Kale tastes better, IMHO, if it's cooked into something (especially a stew, especially a stew with rice, onions, peanut sauce, lemon juice and sweet potatoes).
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:11 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: "Kale fucking sucks and all you people who like it are clearly part of some kale-based alien race trying to colonize the planet"

1. You are objectively wrong.
2. I'm not aware of any kale-based species though there is a Broccoli-like one that appears in Brin's Uplift books called Kanten but they're nice to humans.

In conclusion: Kale is awesome.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:12 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


Yet another reason to like The Whelk: More kale for me!
posted by rtha at 3:14 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


The Whelk, have you tried it using the method of massaging it with olive oil and letting it sit for a half hour or so before using it for other purposes? This dissolves its oil-soluble armor and renders it a tender, tasty green worthy of including in cuisine for reasons other than healthiness or trendiness.
posted by gilrain at 3:16 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


I have cooked Kale in all possible ways and every time I think "why am I not eating a vegetable I actually like?"

This is like me not liking breakfast foods, right?
posted by The Whelk at 3:18 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the trick is to really massage it in with oil and vinegar, and then carefully feed it to someone else.
posted by cacofonie at 3:18 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


This is like me not liking breakfast foods, right?

No because most of the breakfast foods are exceptionally gross.

As far as salads go and other vegetabley things, let me introduce you to my own personal Jesus, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
posted by winna at 3:24 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I am dubious of any food you have to give a an oil massage to. It sounds far too intimate for something to eat.
posted by The otter lady at 3:29 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


The Kale requested a " restorative atmosphere" with lavander accent smells, puce fabric drops, and minimal talking.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


#noleaves
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:39 PM on June 5


My mom eats raw onions with salt.

Last time she visited she said something like "I don't know what I did but none of my boys like onions".

There is not really any way to tell your mom that she has had breath the could stop a truck for at least 40+ years (chain smoking provide some cover for the first 20 years).
posted by srboisvert at 3:48 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


On vacation in Hawaii recently, I made green papaya salad for the first time with papaya purchased at the Hilo farmer's market (photo). I was surprised how easy it was.
posted by larrybob at 3:50 PM on June 5


kale is proof we were meant to suffer. drenched in enough fat-sauce, eh, maybe. whereas cabbage is the undersung (or oft-hated) savior.

brassicas of basically every other varietal? can't get enough, delicious. kale you are the 1% of awful.

from the article - papri chaat may be the best ever "salad" on record, ever. except -

hing aka asafoetida is the most bizarre - so foul, so cruel - I keep the stuff literally inside 3 ziplocs (yes each inside the other like matrioshka) in the cabinet under the sink. and sometimes I consider tacking on an extra ziploc. because that is how awful it is. and yet, without it, so many dishes would not be right. including hot mix, junk snack food but it would be wrong without hing.

ok anyway - where I was going - for about half a year now I've been making 'mak kimchi' ("quick" is the word I believe. secret ingredient: ripe pineapple. no, really.) - ferments safely on its own in the fridge. and, yeah, how is most banchan really not a salad. not leafy to be sure, but half the time can be a meal on its own. needs stinky fish sauce (nuoc nam / nam pla - check! thank you Rome) needs plenty of stinky allium (garlic green onions ramps - check! thank you history)

- the latest kimchi, I made from baby cucumbers and bean sprouts, there are basically no green leaves at all and yet honestly technically this thing is still salad.
posted by dorian at 3:59 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I will eat Kimchi and other pickled cabbage by the heaping fermenting handfuls if you let me.
posted by The Whelk at 4:12 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


For all you people who have been taking it off-topic dissing kale, I gotta respond with a recipe.

Use a bunch of Dino Kale (Lacinato)

Rip all the green parts off for your salad, and compost the central ribs.

Dressing: finely chop two or three cloves of garlic. Mix with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce (for flavor and salt) (if you make too much, you can always use it for your next salad.)

Get the dressing all over the kale, and leave it overnight in the refrigerator (or make it before work for dinner that night). That gives the acid the vinegar time to pre-digest the kale for you.

It's going to be nice, tart, tender and delicious.

Now you like kale!
posted by larrybob at 4:12 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Both the Israeli and Greek salads seem not that dissimilar from the salsa fresca pico de gallo...
posted by jim in austin at 4:33 PM on June 5


I am exceedingly pleased to have returned to a thread full of kale advice. Feels like coming home.

To add to the pile: cheesy kale chips! Here's a simple recipe, here's a high-falutin' one.

tl;dr - Chop up any kind of kale, toss it with a glug of olive oil, a whole bunch of nutritional yeast, and a few pinches of kosher salt, throw it onto a baking pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 250F, flipping once. Remove from oven, dump into gaping maw with extreme fervor.

It does involve leaves, but it's like the opposite of a salad!
posted by divined by radio at 4:35 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Kale is good in Portuguese soup (caldo verde, I think it is called?) with sausage and other tasty items. But the common "healthy" ways to serve it (steamed in a sad little pile as an accompaniment to nut bread, say) are culinary travesties.

And the oil massage sounds nice but uncooked kale might be a bit scratchy, unless the guy mixes it with birch branches and whips you?
posted by Dip Flash at 4:36 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Okay, y'all are talking crazy, kale is for pasta dishes and things like colcannon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


you're all wrong kale is for shakshuka.
posted by winna at 4:42 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Seriously, what do people have against leaves? This is like the "Slate says YA is dumb" thread only for food.

I like leaves. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce salads every night - and when I asked my parents about it later, they said "Oh, we like spinach and dark leafy greens better, but we couldn't afford them and we could afford iceberg". So frankly, I'm thrilled with some arugula and spinach and romaine and escarole and so on, and I will not be, like, leaf-shamed or whatever is going on here. Also, I like salad dressing - champagne vinegar and capers is my favorite right now.

You aren't, like, some kind of rube if you like a green salad with dressing.
posted by Frowner at 4:44 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


I like leaves too but anything that gets more people to make chana chaat can't be wholly bad in my book.

oh yummy chana chaat how I love you.
posted by winna at 4:53 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


ok I was going to stay out of this but EmpressCallipygos you had to bring up colcannon! I will go you one better and mention: champ dulse. the ramps one is well enough, but really the seaweed (dillisk) is best.

winna - ouva in purgatorio is truly one of the most delicious dishes ever, but we can put any green thing in there and it'll be just as delicious right?

I am totally a rube. I like a green salad with some dressing.
posted by dorian at 4:56 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


post-post-preview thank you winna, aloo papri chaat is basically the worst/best thing ever invented by primates
posted by dorian at 4:58 PM on June 5


Red onions are disgusting. They overpower everything they come in contact with.

Macerate 'em! Mellows them out and makes them awesome. Shallots, too.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:00 PM on June 5


winna - ouva in purgatorio is truly one of the most delicious dishes ever, but we can put any green thing in there and it'll be just as delicious right?

Wow I didn't even know that dish? I might try that version, too, just to see. Here's a green version with no tomato that I liked when I tried it the other day, but I used chard not kale.
posted by winna at 5:03 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I was exploring the site on which the chana chaat recipe was found and you guys I think I'm going to cry with delight.

Chickpea Vindaloo

I may never eat anything else in the winter months again. Especially if I replace the potatoes with homemade paneer.
posted by winna at 5:18 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I like macerating red onions with lemon juice rather than vinegar. I thinly slice, dredge the onions with salt, let sit, then rinse off and add the lemon juice. The red layer gets kind of crackled.
posted by larrybob at 5:20 PM on June 5


The Whelk: "I will eat Kimchi and other pickled cabbage by the heaping fermenting handfuls if you let me."

There is hope for you yet!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:26 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


ok damn your scaly hide winna, I had never considered a non-tomato version but that looks truly awesome.

yes maybe thread derail, where are you Whelk?

rrrrrgh trying to resist now. winna I have been making yogurt and subsequently fresh/farmer cheese for years now, there is literally/publicly no wrong that it can do.
posted by dorian at 5:27 PM on June 5


if you have to put fat on a salad to make it palatable, you've got the wrong ingerdients.

I'm sorry you feel that way, but you're wrong. A good olive oil on baby romaine leaves is heaven.

Leaves are good. I especially like a Boston lettuce or assorted spring mix. I make something very like the Israeli salad pretty much every night, though I usually include some leaves. Baby spinach is really good in this. I add spring onions because they're milder than red or white. Oh, and do try it with mint and sumac. When I do this I add a bit of garlic to the olive oil-lemon dressing. It's a sort-of version of fattoush, but I very rarely add toasted pita bits. That's my absolute favorite. If I'm going this way, I like a little chopped romaine lettuce as a canvas. My secret is that I cut out the spines, since they're pretty flavorless.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 5:27 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Fresh Boston lettuce is really sweet and wonderful and doesn't deserve to be lumped in with other, pointless greens.
posted by The Whelk at 5:35 PM on June 5


yes maybe thread derail, where are you Whelk?

NYC, near many wonderful farmers markets. I love all the both brassi vegetables, I just cannot get on the Kale train.
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on June 5


The only greens against which I hold a grudge are mustard greens for reasons that are not their fault.

I do green smoothies a lot. One day I wanted to get fancy and stop just buying the boxes of greens and mix them with beets and some carrots to make normal boring smoothies. So I bought mustard greens to add a kick to my smoothie.

I added one tiny little chunk of mustard greens, stuck the whole business in my masticating juicer, and took a big swig.

and almost died from drinking what tasted like chlorine bleach with an aftertaste of grass


If people tell you that you can use mustard greens in a smoothie, they are liars and they hate you.
posted by winna at 5:39 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


aloo papri chaat is one of the few dishes that even when made REALLY BADLY its still pretty freaking delicious.

I did once have a really mind blowing Wedge Salad in San Antoino with all roast walnuts and candied pecans and fresh peach slices.
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on June 5


That gives the acid the vinegar time to pre-digest the kale for you.

The only things that ought to be eating food that needs to be pre-digested are widdle baby birds.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:44 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Cooking with fire is largely the process of making food easier to digest, every marinade is "pre-digesting" your meat for you, you do it every time you denature the proteins in egg white by cooking it hot water or fat.
posted by The Whelk at 5:47 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Lumpy Salad:
Cauliflower
Broccoli
carrots
onions

Rough chop and dress with shredded cheese, bacon bits and ranch dressing.
posted by 445supermag at 5:57 PM on June 5


I am a big fan of non-leaf salads I can make in bulk and then eat throughout the week for lunch (even if that means adding leaves at some point).

As far as red onions go, I'm a fan for the most part, but I do find they have a tendency to take over the flavors if they sit in a mixture for a few days. I've taken to subbing shallots instead -- same flavor but less strength.

This is probably my fave leaf-less salad right now. You can leave the gouda out (and maybe throw in a fourth bean) if you want to make it vegan. I like red pepper instead of tomato (and shallot instead of red onion). Also, throw some tarragon into that dressing to make it delicious.

I also make a tasty Thai-inspired "slaw" which is a bunch of veggies (carrot, red pepper, cucumber, something green like broccoli or cabbage maybe, radish, bean sprouts, whatever else) and a dressing of peanut butter, sriracha, lime juice and whatever else needed to thin it out a bit (vinegar/water/etc.). But this is admittedly usually made so I can use the shredding blade of my food processor.
posted by darksong at 6:03 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


winna, we can thank those people, because they got me a brand new fancy juicer by comvincing my MIL she could juice dandelion greens and mustard greens and kale and NOT mix anything fruity or balancing in... "I don't think juicing is for me. Here. Have this juicer."

WIN.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:10 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


It's the middle of winter, guys! Why do we have to have a salad thread instead of a nice melted cheese and satisfying stew thread? You want me to be cold and miserable, huh?
posted by lollusc at 7:27 PM on June 5


Darksong, that salad with the Gouda cheese sounds delicious! I like a bit of cheese in my salads as a reward for eating my veggies. :)

The latest Game of Thrones episode (one we had really, as book readers, been anticipating) inspired me to whip up some almond-encrusted trout and buttered carrots from this cookbook*along with a Dornish Summer Salad**.

The salad technically has leaves, because arugula. But there's also crunchy chopped pecans, Gorgonzola cheese for a sharp, savory tang, and contrasting sweet red seedless grapes. Light raspberry viniagrette on the side if you like dressing. YUM!

___
*These were served at Joffrey's wedding. BEFORE the pigeon pie, though!
** I had also planned Sansa's favorite Lemon Cakes for dessert, but my oven started acting up halfway through dinner prep and then died on me(!), resulting in having to run to the neighbor's house just to finish cooking the trout!
posted by misha at 7:46 PM on June 5



Fresh Boston lettuce is really sweet and wonderful and doesn't deserve to be lumped in with other, pointless greens.


One of the best salads I've ever made was 50-50 Boston lettuce and arugula, with red and yellow tomatos, about half an onion very thinly sliced, and white balsamic vinegrette. Light and sweet and crisp and peppery. Needs very good tomatoes, though.

I definitely want to try the chickpea salad mentioned in the article, I have a thing of hing I bought for something or other that's been chilling in my cabinet purposeless for some time.
posted by Diablevert at 8:28 PM on June 5


5. Celeriac remoulade
This is a Jurassic-era French recipe, the kind of thing Julia Child would make and that I feel like you’d have a hard time finding in Paris today


I feel like there's so much wonderfulness in old-school french cooking that just doesn't get served anymore just because it's out of fashion. Part of me feels like this is because it is hard to tart up the ingredient list an preparation on menu copy.
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:27 PM on June 5


I can't think of any leafy vegetable that doesn't taste good to me. sorry article
posted by threeants at 9:31 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


ugh, actually I'm mad that I even commented here, because this is how these articles work: you take an article that would be serviceable but completely mundane-- "7 salads that...um...are good!"-- and then insert some ridiculous trolly hook for people to meaninglessly squabble over.
posted by threeants at 9:35 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


if you have to put fat on a salad to make it palatable, you've got the wrong ingerdients.

I mostly eat salads because drinking olive oil is looked down upon by polite society.
posted by empath at 11:30 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Kale is great - pureed in my smoothies.

I'm totally buying the cookbook EmpressCallipygos linked to.
posted by MillMan at 12:23 AM on June 6


So do all foods come down to:

Baked things (action of yeast but also heat, not just fermentation)

Things in a crust.
posted by alasdair at 1:12 AM on June 6


I used to think lettuce was stupid because it was bland and had no nutritional value but that was before I discovered the wonders of dressing, honey and mustard dressing in particular, and now I quite like it. It's amazing what a difference a little, operative word being little, extra flavour can bring to a green and mostly boring leaf. It still doesn't fill me up, though.
posted by h00py at 5:38 AM on June 6


I'm totally buying the cookbook EmpressCallipygos linked to.

Dude, it's fantastic. About 45% of it is salads - some "main dish" salads, like "I could make a meal out of this", and some are "side dish" so you could have them in your fridge as the side dish if you wanted to grill a piece of chicken or something and then bam there's dinner - and then 45% is soups, with a similar "main dish/side dish" breakdown - and some are chilled soups, so you could even have them in summer. Then there's a catchall section for things like salad dressings and quick breads.

The whole premise is: the Moosewood restaurant always has a couple "soups of the day" and a couple "salads of the day" at the restaurant, and the "daily lunch special" is that you pick one of the soups and one of the salads and that's a combo plate. It works great for the summer - I make up batches of a couple of the salads and keep them in the fridge, and then dinner each night becomes "okay, let me just grab a bowl of something out of the fridge, done."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Ugh, kale. If I wanted hours and hours of ripe monstrous farts accompanied by appalling gastrointestinal anguish I'D JUST HAVE A FUCKING ICE CREAM CONE. At least I would enjoy that.

death to brassicas
posted by elizardbits at 7:07 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Also I am distressed that you can't get proper curly lollo rosso around here ever.

no i don't want to grow my own, i don't care how easy it is
posted by elizardbits at 7:09 AM on June 6


I don't have that Moosewood cookbook in particular, but +1 if it's anything like their other cookbooks.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:48 AM on June 6


EmpressCallipygos, after years of reading your recommendations for that Moosewood book in various AskMe cooking questions, I was finally inspired to order it - it's coming tomorrow! Can't wait to dig in.
posted by lunasol at 10:49 AM on June 6


ugh, actually I'm mad that I even commented here, because this is how these articles work: you take an article that would be serviceable but completely mundane-- "7 salads that...um...are good!"-- and then insert some ridiculous trolly hook for people to meaninglessly squabble over.

We are redeeming it with the power of good recipe recommendations!

For the lollusc, deep in the toils of winter, I present Roasted Tomato, Garlic, & Onion Coconut Soup.

Words cannot describe how good it is. And to keep with the theme of 'we think leaves are awesome, thanks', I bet some baby spinach or kale would make it even more blissful than it is already.
posted by winna at 11:34 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I never put leaves in my salad and my co-workers mock me daily for what they consider a "vegetable medley". I don't care.... leaves are stupid!
posted by JenThePro at 2:42 PM on June 6


Leaves are awesome, but your coworkers suck for mocking your food.

I will not mock your vegetable medley! I will provide you with a Taunting Song to sing at them.
posted by winna at 3:52 PM on June 6


the picture for "1. Some version of a som tam salad." - has a whole chunk of lettuce behind the bean sprouts?

How is that without leaves?

Personally I like leaves anyway
posted by mary8nne at 4:12 AM on June 7


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