Summer Salads – Mixed Greens Salad

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,076
    Chefs Susan Watterson and Rob Carson demonstrate how to make mixed greens salad.

    Rob Carson: Hey guys! This is Rob Carson, I am a radio personality, and I like to cook. And we'll cook for a living like Susan Watterson from CulinAerie in Washington DC. Why don't you tell us what you guys do down here?

    Susan Watterson: We are a recreational cooking school located just south of Thomas Circle. We teach cooking to people who either have no clue, or just want to get better at it, or just love to do it for fun. Rob Carson: Cool. And today we are doing Summer Salad Madness. Okay, but Susan what kind of salads are we going to make today? Susan Watterson: All kind of salads.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: We are going to do Mix Salads, chopped salads, Bread Salads, Fruit salads, Bound salads, composed salads.

    Rob Carson: We are going to make salad really, really good for you. A lot of times salads at home, it's kind of like salad. We are going to make it really, really good today. Susan Watterson: Salads you want to eat.

    Rob Carson: Yes. Susan the first salad today we are going to making is what?

    Susan Watterson: A Mixed Salad. Rob Carson: A Mixed Salad. Okay, we will talk about our ingredients. What do we have over here?

    Susan Watterson: Fresh thyme, key to a good dressing is fresh herbs.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Chopped shallots, but you could substitute onion if you can't find them.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Dijon mustard.

    Rob Carson: Very good.

    Susan Watterson: Balsamic vinegar, and oil.

    Rob Carson: Okay. And of course we are also going to need greens, these are your basic --Susan Watterson: Masculine mix.

    Rob Carson: What? It's one mix?

    Susan Watterson: Masculine mix.

    Rob Carson: Masculine mix, I --Susan Watterson: Spring mix.

    Rob Carson: That's sounds kind of masculine mix. Almost sounds illegal. Anyway it is, yeah, spring mix and you can buy from your grocery store, and we are going to make salad out of it. Now as far as materials, we are going to need to make it, we need what?

    Susan Watterson: We need -- if you are going to make about a hand, a bowl, a pretty large bowl. Rob Carson: Okay. Susan Watterson: And a whisk, preferably balloon whisk, lots of wires.

    Rob Carson: Okay, got it. So let's go. Susan Watterson: Alright.

    Rob Carson: We are going to start off with the what, Susan?

    Susan Watterson: Okay, well I am first going to -- you are here, so you could hold the bowl for me, but if you weren't here what I could do is your part. We can make a little nests.

    Rob Carson: Okay nice.

    Susan Watterson: In that way we can be stable.

    Rob Carson: It's a good idea.

    Susan Watterson: Alright, we have to start with our aromatics which is in this case shallots.

    Rob Carson: And we do about at what? Teaspoon? Susan Watterson: Teaspoon.

    Rob Carson: Okay, cool. Susan Watterson: Teaspoon. Finely chopped, and a big pinch, maybe half a teaspoon of fresh thyme.

    Rob Carson: Okay, awesome.

    Susan Watterson: Always a little seasoning salt and pepper in the beginning, and we'll add just at the end. And then our emulsifier which is Dijon mustard.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Not enough to be mustard vinaigrette, just enough to make the dressing pull together.

    Rob Carson: So about half a teaspoon maybe, maybe quarter -- Susan Watterson: Quarter to half.

    Rob Carson: Okay, cool.

    Susan Watterson: And then general ratio for vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinaigrette. But it depends on your taste, I like mine a little more acidic, so I am going to put in about quarter cup of balsamic vinegar.

    Rob Carson: Very good.

    Susan Watterson: And then really handy if you can pick up squeeze bottle, you can control the oil as it goes into the bowl, which means you are going out of vinaigrette, that's a little bit tighter at the end.

    Rob Carson: For sure.

    Susan Watterson: So you can add it drop-by-drop. If you are adding oil, you have to whisk it because otherwise your dressing will break.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: And then you will taste just oil, and then everything else afterward, which is going to be good.

    Rob Carson: Yeah, there is nothing sadder than broken dressing.

    Susan Watterson: It is, it's worse than a broken heart. So I tend to stop periodically and taste it.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: It's still sour. It should get thicker as you add oil which doesn't seem right, but it's true, so don't panic if it gets thick, that's actually good because your greens will thin it out a little bit because they are usually moist.

    Rob Carson: For sure. Now if you have left-over dressing, how long can you keep this in refrigerator?

    Susan Watterson: You can keep it for at least a week.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: High acid content, so it keeps.

    Rob Carson: Okay, very good.

    Susan Watterson: I think it's tasty.

    Rob Carson: Okay, so now that we've got the dressing ready, let's go ahead and put together the salad.

    Susan Watterson: Okay, it's called a Mixed Salad because you are supposed to mix it. Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Cooking is a contact sport, you have to get in there.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Which means add your greens and then mix, because you want -- let's face it, most people eat salad for the dressing not for the greens.

    Rob Carson: Yes.

    Susan Watterson: So you want every leaf to have a dressing on it, because that's what tastes good. Rob Carson: Very nice. Okay, just use the hands, that's fine.

    Susan Watterson: They are always available, and easily cleaned.

    Rob Carson: There you go. Susan Watterson: This is good, but it's not that interesting.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: So we can garnish it a little bit, make it a little more interesting because after a couple of bites of this, these are relentlessly crunchy but nothing else is going on.

    Rob Carson: Yes.

    Susan Watterson: So I like to use dried fruits, nuts and cheeses. Rob Carson: Lovely.

    Susan Watterson: To give the salad a little more interest, make it something that you look forward to eating rather than something you just have get out of the way.

    Rob Carson: Exactly. Alright, cool. So now what we are talking about? We are going to do what kind of nuts, what kind of cheese, what kind of --Susan Watterson: We are going to use toasted hazelnut nuts, some dried apricots -- Rob Carson: Excellent.

    Susan Watterson: And some goat cheese.

    Rob Carson: Okay, cool. Alright, so we have got the dressing on the greens, let's make the salad interesting.

    Susan Watterson: Okay.

    Rob Carson: So here we go.

    Susan Watterson: Tell you when I was a chef, this is a $5 salad, the one we are going to finish $8 salad.

    Rob Carson: Alright cool.

    Susan Watterson: So pile the greens, and masculine is great for this because of all the different lettuces, it just, it falls nicely on a plate.

    Rob Carson: Yeah.

    Susan Watterson: Then our goat cheese. Rob Carson: Okay, we have some goat cheese, it's going to crumble up on that. Susan Watterson: But you can do -- I have done brie and pistachio and dried cranberry, I mean you can change seasonally with whatever you have --Rob Carson: I am assuming feta. Susan Watterson: Feta is great change, change the fruit, our apricots --Rob Carson: Dried apricots, I love those.

    Susan Watterson: Nice chewy and sweet.

    Rob Carson: For sure.

    Susan Watterson: And makes things a little more interesting, and then if you don't like your who you are feeding, you can leave your hazelnuts hole and they can try to spear them.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Susan Watterson: Or if you do like who you are feeding sharp them up a little bit, because they are easier to eat.

    Rob Carson: Very good.

    Susan Watterson: And these are toasted, so they have a really rich nutty flavor, and a lot of crunch.

    Rob Carson: Alright.

    Susan Watterson: Which is what we are aiming for.

    Rob Carson: That's pretty.

    Susan Watterson: It looks pretty. Rob Carson: Alright.

    Susan Watterson: Mixed Salad with interest. Rob Carson: It is. So we made a great Mixed Salad. Now let's, next do a Classic Caesar.