Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Spinach confetti

Wherein I reveal my secret tip for spinach salad

I love spinach salad. It's a great raw vegetable, but cook it, even to just a mild wilt, and it gags me. Pretty much any leafy vegetable is like that and it's the full range of culinary senses: taste, smell, appearance, texture. None of it is appealing.

So I eat a lot of spinach salad. However, spinach isn't the crispiest of leaf and the leaves like to stick to each other. Then they can be hard to toss or they'll stick to the roof of your mouth. Also doesn't "fluff" well on the plate. Then I "discovered" this idea when making fish tacos and all we add was spinach because I forgot to make the cole slaw: chiffonade.

For a salad, a rough chiffonade is fine. I grab a handful of spinach, roll it into a tight bundle, and chop to about quarter-inch strips. That's it. Try it - tosses nicely and looks great on a plate.

Another thing I look to do with salads is place all ingredients in a gallon ziplock, drizzle the dressing, and give everything a big shake before pouring into a beautiful mound on the plate. You use a lot less dressing this way and everything gets a nice light coating. Works best if done just before serving, otherwise it all gets soggy. For finishing presentation, you could drizzle a touch more dressing and maybe some cheese. Or add some finely chiffonaded herbs.



Blogger reader_iam said...

Ahhh, the old chiffonade trick. It also makes almost anything look prettier.

Me, I'll eat spinach in almost any form, except out of a can (bleccchhhh).

So you don't like spanakopita and so forth?

2/15/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

nope, can't eat it. It's pretty well tested, no matter the skill of the chef I cannot eat cooked spinach.

2/15/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Baby spinach fluffs a little better and clumps a bit less. I'll try your trick the next time I buy big spinach, though.

2/16/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

you're right, baby spinach is quite a bit different and the confetti technique isn't necessary.

Though I would still recommend it for fish tacos. Toss with a ranch dressing - yum.

2/17/2006 11:30:00 AM  

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