I personally really like salads leaves, the leaves are a wonderful raw ingredient with a variety of textures, flavors and colors.
Here are few salad dishes made with a premix salad leaves we made in the restaurant:
Leaves play a very important role in the culinary world – it can be a part of many dishes or play a role on its own , it can serve a s a spice or a decorative element , it can be eaten raw or in most cases even be cooked in various way.
In this short post i will explain a method to make a premixed leaves for using during service.
This post is short but i find its as a very important one, and a method i work a out with my young chefs.
in the photo attached to this post and i apologize for their quality , you can see in real life what we did to prepare our mixed leaves
The big secret is…. Lots of water.
first step :
Prepare a balanced mixture leaves that you like (or what looks right to you) – a mixture that combines different textures (and strengths of leaves), colors and flavors.
for example- endive, arugula, romaine lettuce , frisee lettuce – in this mix for example there is a level of integration between crunchy textures but also between different flavors – spicy arugula, bitter from the endive, sweet from the romaine lettuce etc …
second step :
Decide what shape of the leaves you would like to be in your mix
Large pieces, torn or cut with a knife etc..? – any such decision changes the final output of your salad And that’s what wonderful about the kitchen its alive and kicking.
third step :
Prepare a water bath with a significant amount of of water – I use the sink in the kitchen with enough water so all the mix i made can have enough space to move.
Fill the sink with water and place the leaves in water, even if they are already come in washed and treated.
Mix well -you will notice how much easier it is to mix and combine the leaves in the water – leaves floating in water allows a uniform mixing and a very beautiful mix with out damaging the leaves.
Strain the water and then dry well in a salad leave dryer – the dryer the blend \ mixture is the better it will keep crisp and fresh up to 2 days if well taken care of and treated, we make it daily.
if you are a serious foodie cooking at home you can make a small amount using domestic small salad dryer and keep in a good sealed Tupperware box lined up with absorbing paper or even better a straining base .
I like best to keep the mixture in a service a drawer of a refrigerator lined with a kitchen towel.
Of course you can do the same thing with small leaves such micro leaves, parsley, cilantro, tarragon and many more
So before you run to learn how to scale and filet a fish, or take care of meat suggest to begin to dismantle the base and learn to take care of the salad leaves.
here are some photos of the steps
Thank you for reading