The granita reminded me of a "salad" in the Alinea cookbook. The wry and savvy Carol Blymire cooked this in November of 2008 on the Alinea at Home blog and struggled mightly with the four pounds of salad greens required. I truly enjoy Carol's writing, and her blogging influenced my decision to shake my cooking thing in public.
Anyway, browsing through Michigan Summers: Tales & Recipes, I came across two salads that I thought would make good plate companions for the frozen Salad, Red Wine Vinaigrette. Compared to Carol, though I took the easy route by using less greens, and my second hand juicer that takes up too much of my precious counter space. I started by juicing the greens. I had 3-4 cups mixed salad greens from my weekly Swier Family Farm CSA box...
No, hold on...
This concoction connection actually started earlier with a recipe in Michigan Summers called "Chilled Chunky Tomato Soup." It's basically tomato juice, water, worcestershire, and unflavored gelatin topped with parsley. Think of a Bloody Mary jello shot without the vodka. That's what really got me thinking about the Alinea summer Salad, Red Wine Vinaigrette.
|Chilled Chunky Tomato Soup|
I did eventually juice the organic greens. My small amount of greens netted an even smaller amount of green juice - maybe 1 cup. I shook in some salt, stirred, poured into a plastic container, and placed it into the freezer. Red wine vinegar soon followed in a small container as well.
I used my food processor to quickly whirr a diced green kohlrabi from the Swier Family CSA into tiny bits. I added a classic dressing of mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar for some Kohlrabi Koleslaw. Kohlrabi's in the cabbage family, so it works very well as a Klassic Koleslaw.
Then I worked on the Bacon and Egg Salad. I crisped up some bacon, hard-boiled some eggs, and mashed both with mayo, mustard, scallion, and goat cheese.
|Bacon, Mayo, Mustard, Goat Cheese, Scallion, Eggs|
|Bacon & Egg Salad|
You know what "plating" refers to, right? It's what cooks do in kitchens to make the food look so utterly spectacular. Heck, persnickety chefs have been known to use TWEEZERS to get a plate just perfect for you and yours out there at the table. My cats don't care if the plate is perfect, and me? I just want it to look pretty.
Darn. Not so pretty.
The frozen salad crystals melted on contact with the plate. Perhaps I should have refrigerated the plate? I got out another humongous plate and a ramekin for the frozen salad.
Much better. Pretty. Could use some height, some wavy lines, some doo-dads here and there to make it even better. Oh, heck, it could a lot...but it looks nice. How did it all taste?
The frozen salad was disappointing; it was too sharp for my tastes. However, if you let the salad and vinaigrette melt a bit, it would work well. A different combination of greens and salad dressing would probaby have made a huge difference to me.
|(Frozen) Salad, Red Wine Vinaigrette|
The tomato needed vodka. I'm thinking that's the only way I would have liked this...anybody wanna try that? I added some Kohlrabi Koleslaw on top.
The hands down winner? Bacon and Egg Salad. Toasted. Home Style. With Nothing Too Fancy.
BACON AND EGG SALAD SANDWICHES
Adapted from Michigan Summers: Tales and Recipes
Makes 2 servings
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 chopped hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
2 scallions, chopped
Mayonnaise and mustard to taste to add just enough moisture to hold the above together.
Salt and pepper
4 slices bread
Mix the bacon, eggs, goat cheese crumbles, scallions, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper together. Lightly butter one side of each bread slice. Spread mixture on unbuttered sides. Top with other slices, butter on the outside. Fry until golden brown on both sides.