Composed Salad with Herbed Ranch Dressing
1. This is always a showstopper and a make ahead Rockstar. The herbed ranch dressing adds a decadent richness and by serving on the side it allows people to adjust to their taste.
2. You can use any combo you can think of and can be a great way to use up veggies and pickled veggies in your fridge. You are looking for a contrast of colors and textures as well as tastes.
3. The reason this is such a make ahead recipe is that the vegetables are blanched.
1. Potatoes cooked & quartered
2. Asparagus blanched ends cut off
3. Cherry Tomatoes whole
4. Hard Boiled Eggs cut in 1/2
5. Cauliflower blanched - I used two small heads of purple & green
6. Mix of Greens – dealers choice – I am using radicchio for its color and flavor mixed with arugula
7. Roasted Red Peppers
8. Cucumbers sliced
9.Radishes cut in 1/2
9. Large Capers
10. Calamata Olives – I like the pitted ones – easier on your guests teeth.
1.A great trick for blanching veggies to use a large pot of salted water. Bring to a heavy simmer add your asparagus still in the rubber bands. Cook for 45 seconds and remove to large bowl of iced water. Add the whole head of cauliflower and let cook for 2 minutes . Remove and add to bowl of iced water. When veggies are cool remove bands from as asparagus and wrap the asparagus and cauliflower in paper towels. You can now store in the fridge for a day.
2. When you are ready to plate use a large platter. Layer on arugula and sliced radicchio. Next add your asparagus in two bunches add different ends. Start adding your veggies in piles around the platter. I like to do this in large groupings.Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes around.Add the eggs around the platter and finally sprinkle olives and capers on top.
3. Remember this is all about what you have and like. I try to find the freshest and most colorful veggies. This is a salad that varies when I serve it and is wonderfully seasonal.
I make this in a mini prep, but you could certainly make it by hand
1 cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
1 clove garlic chopped
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ tspn garlic powder
½ tspn onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients and pulse 4 x. Check the consistency if too thick add more milk. You don't want it too thin, but at the same time pourable. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve in a pitcher or pretty bowl.