Salad preparation, what could be easier in the kitchen? However, mistakes are common: poor preservation, minimal rinsing, untimely dressing… Here is an instruction for preparing a green salad according to the rules of art.
Behind the word “salad” lies a number of varieties and just as many ways to cook them correctly. Charlotte Entragues (1) and Patrice Richard (2), both from Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Primeur 2019, provide their details on the matter.
Pick your salad at random
The most consumed is batavia. We are also very familiar with lettuce, oak leaf, lamb salad and arugula. One way or another, “the salad is chosen according to the taste of everyone. Depending on whether we like it tender, crispy, smooth, curly, peppery, sweet, bitter, red, green … And also according to the dishes that we want to treat it to “- begins Charlotte Entreg. Not forgetting to respect the seasons, Patrice Richard concludes: “In the summer we eat batavia, in the winter – escarole, curly or lamb”. However, there are rules that cover all periods of the year, starting with very vigorous leaves that do not wilt and no stains. “You should also check the whitening at heart, it’s a guarantee of freshness,” she continues. “The back of the lettuce changes from white to dark red. The lighter it is, the better,” Patrice Richard assures. pre-washed salads are recommended: “We see a lot of ready-to-eat mesklun coming out, you have to be careful with it. In general, it is pre-washed with chlorine. Prefer natural,” the expert advises.
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Keep it outdoors
Lettuce is a very fragile product. It should be consumed as soon as possible. Its shelf life does not exceed 6 days, depending on the variety. Air and ambient temperature damage it. So for its storage there is nothing better than a refrigerator. Lettuce can be stored refrigerated, whole or sliced. To avoid oxidation, it is placed in a bag or sealed box,” Charlotte Entreg explains.
The most important thing about making a salad is washing it to get rid of any soil or insects that might peep in between the leaves. “This has to be done carefully in cold water and squeezed well. You can also add a few drops of white vinegar to ward off small animals,” says the professional. But if they stayed, that’s reassuring, says Patrice Richard: “That’s a very good sign, because it means it didn’t have any toxic products on it.”
Don’t drain it
Then be sure to dry well. Humidity contributes to premature deterioration of the product. In terms of flavor, we lose flavor and crunchiness if the leaves are still waterlogged. To drain: spin. But don’t panic if you don’t have these utensils handy: “A clean cloth will suffice. We put washed leaves in it, then shake the folded cloth at both ends to remove all the water,” Charlotte explains. Intrigue.
Season too early
“It’s ideal to season it at the last moment, just before serving, so that the salad stays fresh for as long as possible and isn’t “cooked” by all the oils,” says Charlotte Entreg. “The last moment is the best time to prepare because it will help keep all the crunch,” says Patrice Richard. After hardening, the mixture cannot be stored without spoilage even in a cool place. Note that when preparing the salad, it is better to break the leaves with your hands rather than cut them with a knife to slow down the oxidation caused by the acidity of the vinaigrette. Therefore, we remove blunt objects and treat the product with love, this will only make it better.
(1) Fruiti Royan, 150 avenue de Rochefort, 17200 Royan. Such. : 05 46 06 39 87.
(2) Ladam Futures, 24 Rue de Mars, 51100 Reims. Such. : 06 61 63 48 90.
This article, originally published June 16, 2019, has been updated.