Oh, Lucky Me!

I wrapped up the third unit on knives and am now on to Unit Four: Salads & Dressings. Here’s the thing; I love salads. I just also happen to have an aversion to dressings. Maybe I should rephrase that; I actually hate vinegar which happened to be in most vinaigrette and dressing. Before I had started this cookery school, I had decided that I was going to take this opportunity to try a few things that I had swore off. This was one of ingredients on my hit list to try, so I really should have been more excited, right? I even went out of my way to pick vinaigrette options that had vinegar in them as part of my practice assignments. I went to the store and purchased a white wine variety and still feeling positive began making my salad. When the time came to make the mise en place for the dressing, I knew in my heart that I couldn’t do it. The smell…ugh! More…
I wrapped up the third unit on knives and am now on to Unit Four: Salads & Dressings. Here’s the thing; I love salads. I just also happen to have an aversion to dressings. Maybe I should rephrase that; I actually hate vinegar which happened to be in most vinaigrette and dressing. Before I had started this cookery school, I had decided that I was going to take this opportunity to try a few things that I had swore off. This was one of ingredients on my hit list to try, so I really should have been more excited, right? I even went out of my way to pick vinaigrette options that had vinegar in them as part of my practice assignments. I went to the store and purchased a white wine variety and still feeling positive began making my salad. When the time came to make the mise en place for the dressing, I knew in my heart that I couldn’t do it. The smell…ugh!Regardless, the practice recipes included Belgian Endive Salad, Spinach Salad w/ Goat Cheese and a Maple Walnut Vinaigrette, and Salade Lyonnaise. I chose to make Belgian Endive Salad first. I actually wanted to make Salade Lyonnaise, but I did not think I would have any luck finding frisée greens at my local store so that would have to wait until I could go to a real store across the pond. I toasted the walnuts and actually found that they tasted very nice after their time in the oven. I will probably toast them again for other uses. On a side note, I also recently found out that soaking walnuts takes the bitterness away, so if that has been keeping you from eating these nutritional snacks–take them for a dip! Anyway, while the walnuts were toasting, I made the vinaigrette. It consisted of diced shallot mixed with Dijon mustard, sea salt, white pepper, sugar, white wine vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil. It was really easy to come together. To serve, I simply placed the endive leaves on a plate, sprinkled with the walnuts, crumbled some blue cheese on top, and drizzled the vinaigrette atop. While I did not try the completed salad, those who did found it palatable. So while I did not thoroughly enjoy this exercise, I did still learn a few things: toasted walnuts are yummie and dressings and vinaigrettes come together rather easily. If dressing were something I used; I would never buy pre-made again!

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