Do you dare to step out of your comfort zone with salad? I know you have moved away from ice berg lettuce (which is still good with a creamy blue cheese dressing retro style). I’m sure your fridge has seen the likes of baby spinach, micro greens and arugula. But, have you considered raw swiss chard as the star of the bowl?
Blogs are funny animals. If one looked at the last recent twenty posts here, they would think that all I eat are desserts. And, if one looked at the last 287 posts, one would think that I rarely eat salad. But, the reality behind my keyboard is that I eat a salad every single day of my life and I rarely eat dessert.
All kinds of salads garnish our table, but this has become a favorite of every dinner guest this summer and one I feel especially proud of, giving some southern flavors a bit of Spinach Tiger twist. I get frustrated here in Nashville because our dining experiences are often just too similar restaurant to restaurant. We don’t have a coast to drive up, or another town close by to get a different kind of regional cooking. If I see one more table of pulled pork with barbecue sauce, I’m going to scream. Keep the pig, but how about turning the flavor profile upside down and eliminating sugar and ketchup and bringing in sage and rosemary, which can be grown locally.
What is regarded as “local” (the big buzz word) is often old school recipes with regionally raised food. We could be
Serving greens raw in the south is certainly a new twist on tradition, but one that we should all be heading to, especially during the hot months, where fruit can be added and the palate gets refreshed.
This is a salad that is equally about texture as much as it is the balancing act of fat, salt, and acid.
- Rainbow Chard (other swiss chard is fine too)
- Butter Lettuce (one head, rinsed, patted dry)
- Handful pecan, chopped coarsely and toasted
- Nectarine slices (can use peaches or even apples)
- Dried fruit, chopped (optional)
- SALAD DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons mixture of white balsamic, champange or apple cider vinegar (any combo)
- Big squeeze of lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup canola oil
- sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- Rinse swiss chard and trim stems. Dry leaves and place in salad bowl.
- Toss with dressing and add in dried fruit and toasted pecans. Season with salt and pepper.
- Salad Dressing
- Whisk vinegar into mustard. Add lemon juice.
- Slowly add in the both oils. Season with salt and pepper. You will not use all the dressing most likely. You will need to do your own tasting. The dressing will be pungent, with lots of acid. The sweetness of the peaches, and the salt will help to counteract. But, if you find it too pungent, add more canola or olive oil. This is much more of an inspiration than an exact recipe.