Rob Carson: Hi! Once again, I am Rob Carson, I am a radio personality and I cook. Today, I am turning over the cooking to Susan Watterson from CulinAerie, a wonderful private cooking school in Washington DC. Today, we're doing Summer Salad Madness. What the next salad?
Susan Watterson: Fruit and Vegetables Salads, which I think don't get their fair share of the attention.
Rob Carson: Okay. What are we going to make first?
Susan Watterson: We're going to -- it's all about the vinaigrette in this case, because basically we are just dealing with fruit and vegetables. On there own they are just fruit and vegetables. If you want to make them into a salad, or into a side dish, or into a first course, you need something to unite them. So what we use to unite them is the vinaigrette. And in this case just a very straight balsamic vinaigrette. Tablespoon chopped shallots, about half a teaspoon of fresh thyme, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and then about half a cup of olive oil.
Rob Carson: Okay. And then you blend that?
Susan Watterson: And you blend all that together. Then you can use it as a marinate because vinaigrettes can be marinates, or sauces, or a salad dressing. We use that to marinate any summer vegetables that you pick up at the farmer's market or you have lying around if you used half of the yellow pepper for something last week and it's still there. Toss -- keep it as it thick, toss them in about half of the vinaigrette, let them sit for half an hour or four hours or how much time you have. And then fire up the grill, throw them on carefully because there is oil in there, so it'll flame a little bit. And then just char them.
Rob Carson: Okay. Now we've got asparagus, we got red onion, we've got sweet red and yellow peppers, I see a zucchini in there as well. Okay, so that's what you have? Susan Watterson: Yeah.
Rob Carson: Nice little mere longue of vegetables if you will.
Susan Watterson: Exactly. Rob Carson: Okay.
Susan Watterson: And this you can put on a platter if you have next to your burgers or your leg of lamb or whatever. There just as good served at room temperature, or cold as they are, warm so then can just sit around, they are beautiful. And that's your vegetable just taken care of.
Rob Carson: Okay. Cool. What else we have got? A fruit salad?
Susan Watterson: Using this thing -- I want you to taste this vinaigrette. This is the vinaigrette that's in the vegetables. Rob Carson: Alright, let me then. I love the balsamic, it's fantastic.
Susan Watterson: Well, those got a little bit of sweetness. Rob Carson: For sure, totally.
Susan Watterson: If you want use this same dressing for fruit, add a couple of drops of vanilla. Rob Carson: Okay.
Susan Watterson: Now taste it again. Rob Carson: Vanilla, alright, I'll try it. Wow! Susan Watterson: It opens up a whole different --Rob Carson: Absolutely, it does, it makes it intense. I mean, I don't know how to say it. It really, really fills your mouth up, that's nice.
Susan Watterson: And it brings out the sweetness of the balsamic a little bit, so it's perfect with fruits.
Rob Carson: Wow! You wouldn't think that would be good on fruit, but I imagine it would be perfect.
Susan Watterson: And I like to use a little bit of a bitter green, so this water crest, a little bit of peppery flavor for color contrast, flavor contrast. And then pink grape fruit; this is a great starter if you are going to have something else, you have done something like a Cassoulet, a big heavy stew and you just want to open the palette. And plus these are winter fruits, so when you can't go the farmer's market for your veggies. And then just drizzle dressing over it.
Rob Carson: Very cool.
Susan Watterson: And grace them. Rob Carson: Yeah.
Susan Watterson: Now that's assembled in five minutes. Rob Carson: Okay, so there is Summer Salad Madness, I think one of the really cool thins. You gave us a lot of variety and the most important thing is making your own dressing, making your own salads is very, very easy to do from scratch.
Susan Watterson: Absolutely.
Rob Carson: You don't have to just have to have the iceberg of lettuce and the jar of French. Okay, like my mom uses.
Susan Watterson: Right. Rob Carson: That's right, you can actually make a great salad from scratch. See you.