An easy-to-do work of art that's fun to 'mess up,' sort of like cutting into a spectacular, 'too-pretty-to-cut' wedding cake.
You may have noticed that with my recipes (except with the science of baking), exact amounts are at times not specified. This leaves room for individual taste and creativity.
It's a safe bet that whoever participates in creating such a work of art (like kids!) - and 'messing it up,' too, will be enthusiastic about eating their salad!
So here we go... Of course, have your bottle of Sassy Almond-Sesame Sauce or Sassy Peanut-Sesame Sauce, 'Regular' or HOTT!' chilling.
3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
Big double-handfull Spring Mix
2 Kale leaves
12 Brussels sprouts
1/4 Red Onion
3 medium Carrots
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper
1/2 English Cucumber
Zena's Sassy Almond Sesame Sauce, 'Regular.'
Rinse, spin, and chill Spring Mix.
In a heavy pan, heat a few tablespoons Sesame Oil or Coconut Oil.
Cut all but the dark part of one Leek into quarter-inch rounds, and lightly brown on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Add a little more oil if needed. Cut 1/4 Purple Onion into thin lengthwise slivers; saute until just beginning to caramelize. Remove from pan to cool. This will be the very center.
For the dark green circle, 'chiffonade' a few leaves of kale, chard or collard greens by making a tight roll, then slicing (think refrigerator cookies) about 1/8 inch wide. 'Flash' in the hot pan stir-fry style, for only a minute or so, 'til it just becomes bright green. Remove from the pan, spread out and allow to cool.
Note: 'Chiffon' is French for 'little rag,' referring to the fabric-like strips that result from this technique. 'To chiffonade' simply means to transform into rag-like strips.
The lightest green circle, believe it or not, is a chiffonade of Brussels sprouts, 'flashed' in the pan for a couple minutes until bright and barely soft; removed and set aside to cool.
BTW - Quick 'flash-heating' of the above ingredients deepens their color and flavor, making them more appealing and more easily digested than when raw.
The following veggies don't need to be cooked:
Coarsely grate the carrots.
Cut colorful sweet peppers into thin triangles about 2 inches by 1/2 inch. Those pretty natural curves add a lot of interest.
Score with a lemon zester or fork; then slice half of an English cucumber about 1/8 inch thick.
Everything can be prepared ahead, covered closely and chilled for a few hours.
Now to arrange - - Check the photo for inspiration only, as this is flexible: In a large flat bowl, arrange as follows:
Beginning with the outside of the circle, arrange the Spring Mix to make a frame. Next circle in, the flashed collards/kale/chard, and so on with the Brussels sprouts, carrots, and finally the sauteed red onion in a little mound on top of the carrots. Then 'sprinkle' the bell pepper triangles over the Spring Mix - this is great color contrast. Nestle the leek rounds in between, and the cucumbers helter-skelter around the edge.
Your 'canvas' can also be square, triangular, oblong. oval... Choosing 'flat' allows for full view of the veggie 'painting.' To compose the salad, whatever shape, simply follow the edges.
Present this salad for everyone to ogle over; then drizzle Zena's SASS, and mess it up, mixing all those wonderful colors and shapes. Have the kids - grownups, too - do this, and they'll be excited to invite salad onto their plates... Note: Middle Dutch: ogle = 'to eye'
When all is complete, you'll know it's worth the effort....enjoy the process!
Put a little SASS in your life, and find out why folks even sip this sauce from a shot glass!