My husband and I are having fourteen people to a special dinner this week. I struggled to put together an interesting menu that says, “We are so glad that you are at our table”, and yet conforms to the preferences of all of our health conscious friends. Most people these days are glad to have some fresh salad with their dinner, but a pile of lettuce falls short of my goal of ‘elegant’. This is particularly troublesome because the first course sets the tone for the meal.
I have come up with a solution for our dinner. I am making a stacked salad which will be beautiful on the plate. It has the added advantage that I can line up the plates with the salads in individual molds (rings) and I can remove the rings at the last minute. Easy – elegant – perfect.
To create a stacked salad, you’ll need a stainless steel food ring to act as your mold.
- Place each ring on a salad plate. The plate should be large enough to collect bits of salad once your guest begins to eat.
- Fill one bowl with the ingredients for the first layer of your salad. Fill a second bowl with the ingredients for your second layer, and so on. Add a little salad dressing to some of the bowls, especially if one is filled with lettuce. Be creative with textures and colors. Now you are ready to assemble your salads.
- Fill each ring with layers – one for each salad ingredient. Tamp down each layer as you fill the ring. I used a juice glass to tamp.
- Give special thought the look of your elegant top layer.
- Just before serving, remove the rings. Be careful to lift the rings straight up to avoid disturbing the stacks.
Note: You can use a tin can with both ends removed as a mold, but these rings are helpful. You can get by with just one ring and take it off each salad before you set up the next one. They stand up well in the refrigerator once the ring is removed.
Stainless steel food ring, 3.5 inch diameter. $7.02 each.
Some salad ideas:
And more ideas:
- Watermelon, Feta, Arugula with Balsamic vinegar
- Caprese salad with chopped tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto or basil
- Lettuce, avocado, shaved cheddar and peeled grapefruit sections. Substitute dried cherries or cranberries for the grapefruit if you prefer. Use a citrus vinaigrette dressing.
See how easy stacking is;