All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

cold chicken plated salad with zucchini ribbons

The French call them composed salads;  those delicious cold plated salads so perfect in summer, whether for lunch or dinner.  In America, I see everything from "dinner salads" to simply spelling out the ingredients and adding the word "salad".  I call them plated salads now, simply because I plate them individually and serve with little bowls of condiments, like that bright, cheery jar of pickled red onions, or several different kinds of olives, or a basket of bread and unsalted butter.

I used a mustardy dressing for this, sadly out of anchovies, which would have been my first choice.  

Dijon salad dressing:

1 T. virgin olive oil
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. drained caper berries
1 t. prepared dijon mustard
salt and fresh pepper
Mix the ingredients with a fork until blended well, then drizzle over the plated salad.

To compose a plated salad, start by spreading the platter or plate with greens, then carefully add components that harmonize visually.  Hard boiled eggs, sliced into quarters or halves, are traditional.  Quickly cooked green beans, or flash cooked sugar snaps, are another common addition - but feel free to use what's freshest and therefore, pretty on a plate.  Instead of grated or sliced zucchini, I shaved ribbons and very, very briefly popped them into simmering water, and quickly drained them.  When they were cool, I rolled them up and drizzled dressing on them.

I used leftover cold poached rosemary chicken to anchor the plate, but fish or meats can also be used this way - and it's a more interesting way to serve leftovers than a quick sandwich.  Sliced boiled potatoes are also traditional, but it's best to drizzle the dressing on while they're still warm, then chill or let cool to room temperature.

Hope you're enjoying your summer!  The raspberries and blueberries are ripe - two or three weeks earlier than usual after that funny winter ( or non-winter) we had, so I'm hoping to find those ripe, warm, summer tomatoes soon, soon, soon.


Diary of a Tomato said...

With all of the wonderful produce pouring through gardens and farmers' markets, these are certainly the salad days! And synchronicity, I was just remembering my first restaurant job, salad station, lowly but surprisingly perfect for me because of my responsibility for creating a new daily composed salad special. It remains my favorite canvas to this day.

Barb said...

Just beautiful! Salads are truly one of my favorite meals, particularly when the produce is so fresh - there really isn't anything much better. always have the loveliest photos. I wish I could just get my fork and dig in!

katrina said...

Ms. Tomato - I learned to make classic Salade Nicoise in a French restaurant I worked in, and what a revelation! Nothing like mushed together leftovers, but a classy, classic, and yes, artistic "canvas" - thanks!

katrina said...

Barb - you are so right! I do get more excited about plated salads than our usual "fluffy green salad" these days, I have to admit. Feel the need to take off 10 pounds so really watching what I eat, so these composed salads really make me feel like I'm eating a small, but real meal. And yes, I LOVE all these fresh berries and fruits, greens and veggies! I'm not even going to say the word "December", but it's hanging there, reminding me to enjoy every sun-warmed morsel:) Thanks !