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Composed Salads!

Please your palate with an assortment of harmonious ingredients!

A composed salad is simply one that is attractively arranged in a considered manner rather than tossed together. It can represent any corner of the world, borrowing produce, proteins, and seasonings from one cuisine or from several. Whatever the cultural influence, composed salads share a handful of characteristics: Each features a combination of greens or other vegetables, meat or fish, and some sort of dressing. At times, starches such as potatoes or rice are components; cheeses or sliced fruit can be, as well.

But for the American cook in summer, it is much more than that: a back-pocket lunch or dinner that can be endlessly reinvented and served to many people at any time. It shows off the intense, irresistible vegetables, herbs and fruits of the season — but can also have rich components like cheese, eggs, toasted nuts and smoked fish or meat. With a loaf of (preferably grilled) bread, it is a meal in itself.

As with all great dishes, the key to a successful composed salad is balance – in flavor and appearance. No single ingredient should be allowed to take over the plate or the palate. A composed salad is a fine popportunity to enjoy choice seasonal produce, and the perfect means for dressing up leftovers. With a well-constructed salad, a casual glance should let diners see all of the foods they’ll be enjoying before they even take their first bite.

This Composed Chopped Salad makes a wonderful salad to introduce to young children. All ingredients are already well-chopped, the composition of the salad provides different textures, shapes and colors, and they are able to sample ingredients to find the tastes they prefer the most. The best part is you can easily include your family’s favorite ingredients. How fun is that?

“If you are lazy and dump everything together, they won’t come out as well as if you add one thing at a time. It’s like everything else; no shortcuts without compromising quality.”
~ Lionel Poilane

Maple Bundt Cake Photo