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What it is: T’s elegant stacked salad. T has been experimenting with food rings lately and different plating techniques. This salad is so simple and easy but it looks like you spent all day doing it. Use this recipe if you want to impress your guests or significant other. I am trying to “wow” the pants off of M – literally! Winks.
Now, you don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on expensive stainless steel food rings and tampers (even though, I would like some professional ones..hint hint M). You can use anything that is smooth on the inside and 2-3 inches in width to mold your food. If you have an empty can (soup, vegetables, etc), just remove the two ends, rinse out, and you have a food ring. I prefer PVC pipe. It’s cheap, easy to make, and it works perfectly! I use 2 inch and 3 inch PVC pipe to make my molds.
T’s step by step tutorial:
1 Roma Tomato
1/2 Large Cucumber
Champagne Vinaigrette (to dress ingredients)
Halve Avocado and remove pit, with a spoon remove the entire inside of each half of avocado (shout out to my Grandma for buying me this adorable polka dot paring knife).
Dice the avocado.
Place in bowl and lightly dress with vinaigrette.
Next dice the radishes.
Place in a different bowl and lightly dress the radishes with vinaigrette.
Cut your cucumber in half, cut the sides off and discard the center (seeds), then dice.
Place in another bowl and dress lightly with vinaigrette.
Dice up tomato and place in a new bowl, lightly dress with vinaigrette.
Now, it’s time to start assembling. I added salt to each bowl and mixed well. This is a personal preference, you do not need to add salt. Your bowls should look like this:
Next, take your PVC pipe, food ring, can…whatever you have to use as a mold and place on plate.
The first layer is avocado. Spoon or scoop in to fill 1/3 of the pipe. The avocado gives a nice hearty base to make sure your tower stays up. Tamper down with anything you have lying around, I used a wooden spoon; you don’t want to crush the ingredients, just pack them down into and around the ring.
Then the radish layer, place in and tamper down.
Next, add the cucumber layer and tamper down (I forgot to take a picture of this layer but you want to fill it most of the way. The tomatoes will spill out over the top)
Finally, add your tomatoes and let them come out over the top of the ring. Press down firmly with your hand to pack it in but don’t crush the tomatoes.
You will then want to let it refrigerate for at least a half hour. Everything will settle in and it will keep it’s shape better. You can make these up to 5 hours in advance and they will be ready to serve, the vinaigrette keeps everything from browning.
After 30 minutes, take out of the refrigerator and press down on the top of the tomatoes, while slowly slipping the PVC pipe up and off.
Drizzle the plate with some herb infused oil and balsamic vinegar and add a sprig of parsley (or whatever herb you have available) to the top, and voila – you have an elegant and beautiful salad that everyone will think you worked all day on.
The best thing is that this tastes as good as it looks! You can, of course, try different variations of ingredients and combinations. I was going for a red, green, red, green theme. M doesn’t care for radishes, so I am conceptualizing a stacked Cobb salad for her. That is the fantastic thing about this, you can personalize it for each person. I don’t like blue cheese and M loves it, so I can make her a Cobb stacked salad and this version for me. It’s easy, beautiful, and your guests will think they are in a 5 star restaurant.
Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments. We will be sure to show you any other salad variations we come up with. You can also email us at email@example.com
T & M