Arrange your ingredients carefully for a composed salad. The ingredients are not as important as the presentation. Each ingredient should be in its own little area and artfully arranged.
Every year in Southern California, specifically in Los Angeles, we have something called June Gloom. It happens right after Memorial Day. It is usually hot when the marine layer sits over the Pacific Ocean coming inland and keeps everything cool and gloomy. My mother used to call this kind of weather “sweater weather.” It wasn’t cold enough for a coat. The weather would get warm enough after the clouds burned off to wear a sundress and wear a cardigan in between.
It is also the time when fruits and vegetables are springing up very fresh and flavorful in your local market. Try to get green tomatoes to make Fried Green Tomatoes with Basil Garlic Mayonnaise.
Today my corner store had ripe red tomatoes that cried out to be brought home for salad. There were also perky Persian cucumbers waiting to go into my basket. There was also a perfectly ripe avocado that felt great nestled in my hand. I put spirited spring onions in my basket as well as three hearts of Romaine lettuce.
In my salad, I fanned out both the tomato and avocado halves. Then, I made a little flower out of sliced Persian cucumber. The black olive slices, crumbled bacon, and blue cheese were in the middle. I propped up one whole sun-dried tomato. To finalize it, a peperoncino sat in its place of honor on the very top of the salad.
I also had some things at home to put in the salad. There was a little pastrami and Swiss cheese left over from making Chicken Rubens with Saffron Rice. I had marinated sun-dried tomatoes, black olive slices, real bacon bits, pepperoncini, and blue cheese. I decided that Girard’s Champagne Dressing would be perfect.
You are free to add your own ingredients. Chickpeas would be a good addition. Chopped eggs, marinated onions, Kalamata olives, Chinese snow peas, and grilled chicken; the sky’s the limit!
So enjoy these wonderful days of summer and remember that salads don’t have to be dull or ordinary.