Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stacked Cobb Salad

The fun technique of stacking can make healthy green salads look elegant.  You can purchase food rings, which are a fun little gadget - if you’re into gadgets.  

However, you can accomplish the same thing by using a simple tin can with both ends removed, then use something to press down the ingredients gently as you layer them in.  

A few tips for stacking:
  • Pay attention to the colors and textures of your layers. It’s nice to use colors that contrast with what you are plating your salad on.
  • Decide the order you will stack your salad ingredients.  The texture of each ingredient adds interest also.  Dice, slice, or fan out your ingredients to make them look more interesting.
  • Dressing (in small amounts) will help some items hold together a little better.  Lettuce almost always needs a little something to keep it from falling apart.
  • The size of your plate needs to be large enough so when you start to eat the salad, it will hold the avalanche of goodness.  
  • Press each layer down gently as you assemble your salads. “Tamping” the food into layers helps it stand at attention until you eat it.
  • It’s important to lift the ring straight up when you take it off.
  • If it all falls apart, so what?  It will still look beautifully layered and mounded in the center.  

This is what I used in this version of stacked salad:

Halved cherry tomatoes
Diced romaine tossed with just enough ranch dressing to hold it together
Rotisserie Chicken Salad (recipe follows)
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped hard cooked egg
Roughly chopped crisp bacon
Diced avocados
Arugula (or other greens with a fun texture)

Rotisserie Chicken Salad
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 5 teaspoons honey 
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3-4 cups rotisserie chicken breast, diced 
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  1. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, celery, honey, poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
    Place diced chicken breast in the bottom of a large bowl. Gently toss with dressing.  

    Serve with fresh fruit, soup, and rolls.

    And... if you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy way to set your table - all you need is a roll of wrapping paper, a disposable tablecloth, bright napkins, transparent tape, limes, hydrangeas, and a large glass bowl.  Follow the steps below and see how fresh your salads look on a no-stress table design.

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