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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Salads - Simply Sensational

Fruit Salad Fixins from Camp Blogaway

Salads are sensational, on so many levels.  They can be light or substantial, combining raw and cooked, cold and warm, savory and sweet, local and exotic.  All vegetable, all fruit, or a combo?  You can leave them au naturale, or dress them up any which way.  From hundreds of greens, grains, vegetables, beans, protein (vegetarian, of course), cheese (easy does it), nuts, crispy bits, herbs, fruit, seeds, oils, vinegars, fruit juices, wine, and spices, you can create thousands of combinations for every occasion, special or du jour.  Something classic done exactly according to tradition, or maybe with a twist; something with ethnic inspiration to evoke exotic places; what's on hand; what's at the market; whatever.  

For lunch, a snack, as a dinner starter, or main course, a salad could be just what you need to fill up, and not out.  A nice salad, without high calorie/high fat embellishments, eaten at the start of the meal, has been proven to result in consuming less calories overall.  And nearly all of salads' plant-based ingredients have health benefits like vitamins, antioxidants, and/or fiber.  While it's sure nice to have all of these benefits, even without them, salads are so darn delicious I'd eat them anyway.
Actual Bloggers, not actors, 'Created by Diane' and 'Liz the Chef'

Whether it's supper for one or enough to please a crowd, as in the two dinner salads I created and served at Camp Blogaway (fresh air, fun, food) recently, if you haven't already elevated the salad from what you think you should eat when you're on a diet, to what you want to eat as often as possible, let the ingredients and your imagination be the guide to your own sensational salads.

Camp Blogaway Friday Night Salad
Spring mix salad greens
shelled, cooked edamame
ready-to-use beets, diced
shredded or diced carrots
fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
shallots, minced
crumbled feta cheese
garden herb croutons
dressing: seasoned rice vinegar,
grapeseed oil, fresh lemon, pepper

To make the dressing: whisk 1 part vinegar to 1 part oil, add as much lemon juice as you like, and add pepper to taste.

To make the salad, toss together the greens and veggies (in whatever proportion you like), add dressing, toss, add cheese, toss, add croutons, toss, maybe add more dressing, toss and serve.

Camp Blogaway Saturday Night Salad
Spring mix salad greens
baby heirloom tomatoes
mini cucumbers
shredded or diced carrots
fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
shallots, minced
pine nuts
shredded Parmesan cheese
tomato & basil croutons
dressing: extra virgin olive oil,
seasoned rice vinegar, pepper

To make the dressing whisk 1 part oil to 1 part vinegar, and add pepper to taste.

To make the salad,  toss together the greens and veggies (in whatever proportion you like), add dressing, toss, add nuts and cheese, toss, add croutons, toss, maybe add more dressing, toss and serve.

Thanks Melissa's for Sponsoring Camp Blogaway!


  1. Your salads were wonderful at Camp Blogaway! Bravo for telling us how you did it!

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment. As you can see, my salads are less recipe and more "whatever", because delicious ingredients just work together pretty effortlessly, don't you think?

  2. Yes, delicious salads! And that fruit platter was gorgeous!!

    1. Thanks Valentina! Mother Nature made some beautiful fruit, didn't she?

  3. YOUR salads are always sensational. These look and sound great, and the photos are beautiful. Very interesting that you do 1 to 1 oil to vinegar/lemon juice. That's what we do now too (the Middle Eastern way) but in Paris we did the classic 3 oil to 1 vinegar and gradually changed over the years.

  4. That's high praise coming from a sensational salad maker like yourself. The classic 3:1 oil/vinegar ratio is way to oily on my palate, and I found 1:1 really best complements the ingredients.

  5. Thanks! I just realized that you use rice vinegar, which has much lower acidity than the wine vinegar we used in France. But now I also like 1:1, as I think we have gradually changed to bolder flavors, and it's healthier anyway.

  6. You salads were an absolute highlight of a weekend filled with all kinds of good! GREG

    1. High praise coming from a fine foodie like yourself.
      Thanks Greg!