The trickiest element of throwing a sit-down soirée is often creating the party menu.From hors d’oeuvres to hearty courses, the food can be the glue that holds a dinner function together. Whether you’re hosting a light, outdoor meal or a formal multi-course feast, a great salad can be an excellent addition to any dinner party menu.
Mark Bittman, author and columnist for The New York Times, recently spoke with Allure magazine about how to create the perfect salad. Not surprisingly, it starts with lettuce selection.
“I like to use romaine as the base…it can hold more substantial ingredients – tissue-thin field greens will wilt,” he told the publication. “To make it interesting, mix in dark bitter greens…Make sure to chop everything.”
Bittman also suggests that hosts get creative by adding specialty foods – fruits, cooked vegetables and proteins like bacon or pieces of prosciutto. When dressing the greens, make a mixture that is three parts olive oil to one part acid, such as vinegar, lemon or lime juice.
Salads are a must for late-summer dinner party menus, and the magazine goes on to recommend that those who entertain outdoors utilize candles. To create a dynamic tablescape, play with scale. “Put chunky tapers in hurricane lamps and tea light in glass jars – anything with high sides and a sturdy base,” the news source reports.