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The takeout salad… revisited

GH_JapaneseSalad

I am completely guilty of going through phases of making the same recipes over and over again. If it’s not broke why fix it? If I’ve learned how to make it why learn how to do something new? My new effort with the year at the farmer’s market is to really try new things. To step out of my usual purchase every week of just getting tomatoes and try actually take a stab at expanding my repertoire. When I wrote the post about the market a couple weeks ago I promised to keep you all up-to-date with what I’m trying out. It’s time to actually follow up on my promises.

I absolutely love cookbooks. Looking at all pictures of delicious food is relaxing to me. It’s like mental yoga. It’s also just inspiration for what kind of flavors to put together. In my far off fantasies I wish I could be a chef but I know I don’t necessarily have the culinary creative vision to create entirely new flavor combinations. I have however become exceptionally good at improvising and creating simpler, down and dirty versions of more complicated recipes. Sometimes I cheat a little and use store bought products. Shhhhhh….

While reading It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, I came upon a recipe which was your usual Japanese restaurant style salad with ginger carrot dressing. I took my own spin on it to cope with my own limited schedule.

I always prep 2 portions….

Salad:
1 head of romaine chopped
2 handfulls of baby spinach
1/2 a red onion chopped
1 tomato sliced
1/2 a cuke sliced
1 avocado halved and then sliced (set aside, I put on afterwards so the salad stays pretty)

Dressing:
1 tablespoon of  minced ginger (the pre-chopped kind in a little jar works wonndddders)
1 minced shallot
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (more if you like a more substantially dressing)
Salt and pepper as you like
optional: 2 tablespoons of grated carrot (this is not really my jam so I omit this one depending on who I’m preparing this salad for)

Put all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Salt amply over the top (my little veggie tip… salting the veg before pouring on the dressing makes the flavor more concentrated – especially your tomatoes). Mix together dressing ingredients and pour on top of the salad and toss. Top with avocado after you’ve plated everything!

Bon appétit!

photo courtesy of It’s All Good, Gwyneth Paltrow

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