My aunt and my sisters have been visiting me in California. We had an awesome time! Mainly though, we ate. We ate. We drank. Then we ate some more. My sister asked me for the salad recipes I made. I said I would post them on my blog. So–ben, voila!–here is one:
One head of butter lettuce. Tear into bite-sized pieces and wash in a fancy-dancy salad spinner. Spin until the lettuce is dizzy (or you are dizzy, or you can’t tell the difference because you have been drinking the bottle of wine you opened half an hour ago and you have an empty stomach. Remember, you haven’t eaten. You are just starting to make the salad!).
Retrieve glass bowl from where ever the glass bowl is stored in your kitchen. If it is your kitchen, you know where the glass salad bowls are. If you are in your sister’s kitchen, you will have to investigate each cupboard and drawer to find out where they are stored. Depending on the size of the kitchen, this particular task might take a few minutes.
Ok. Glass bowl. Dizzy lettuce. Put the lettuce in the bowl. Pat down so the lettuce is densely layered on the bottom of the bowl and it starts to regroup.
Open a can of corn niblets. This was the first time I used white corn niblets. I normally use yellow corn niblets. Well. You decide what you like better: white corn, yellow corn. Doesn’t make a difference. More likely than not, you are going to have one of them in your cupboard.
Rinse and drain the can of corn niblets and layer them on top of the dizzy lettuce in the bowl. Not a bad combination so far.
Chop a large tomato into cubes. Should I say: cube a large tomato? Well. Whatever the language, you get the idea: one large tomato is now in chunks. Layer the tomato chunks onto the corn niblets.
Find the can of tuna in your cupboard. Staple ingredient: tuna. Open the can, drain the liquid. Put the tuna in a bowl to chop it up with a fork so that it is now flaky. I like to add minced onions–just a wee bit of onions, minced into a pulpy mess–for flavour. Mix the onions with the flaky tuna. Layer the minced onions and flaky tuna onto the tomato, corn, and lettuce in the bowl. Hmmmm…now you have dizzy lettuce and flaky tuna in one bowl. Maybe you should have another drink of wine.
Ok. So now you should have lettuce, corn, tomato, onion and tuna all layered in the glass bowl. You can actually use any kind of bowl. I just like glass bowls because you can see the layers and it makes it more of an interesting conversation piece. Especially, if by now, you are on the second bottle of wine and you still haven’t eaten. You can decorate the top of the salad with boiled eggs sliced in half. Be artistic. Be creative. There are no rules.
The dressing takes some trial and error before you figure it out. I learned how to make this basic dressing when I lived in France and it has been in my recipe repertoire ever since. Scoop some Dijon mustard into a small mixing bowl. Once around the edge with olive oil. Well–maybe another round just so there is enough. Start mixing in circular motions. Add vinegar to the mix. Keep mixing until the oil, mustard, and vinegar have blended. Use the vinegar to modify the consistency of the dressing. If you’ve added too much vinegar, add some more oil, or mustard until you get the right balance. This is where the trial and error comes in. Too much mustard and it will make your nose sting. Too much vinegar and it will make your mouth pucker. Too much oil and–well, you’ll figure it out.
You can pour the dressing directly onto the salad and serve or just keep it in the bowl so each individual can put the right amount on their portion. The idea with the layered salad is that it becomes a tossed salad as soon as people start digging in.
That’s it. Bon Appetit! Dig in!
Don’t forget: Finish the wine.