Salad Days Testimonial: A finicky eater turns a corner on salads
April 27, 2017 | Category: Food & Wine | Giveaways/Contests
Amy Pennington’s new cookbook Salad Days won’t have any trouble selling salad aficionados on the virtues and versatility of salad. But we know there are a lot of people out there who haven’t given salad much thought and who might need some convincing that salad can be a vibrant centerpiece instead of a side dish. Could Salad Days sell a skeptic on salad’s many wonders? To find out, we drafted our Sales & Marketing Assistant and resident salad skeptic, Micah, to take Salad Days for a test drive.
It’s not that I don’t like salad—a good Caesar is worth its weight in gold—but I’m definitely picky about salad. The average salad at my house is a sad side dish, usually thrown together in a hurry because I realize I need another serving or two of veggies. No surprise that eating these feels like a chore! Deep down, I’ve always known I wasn’t giving salad a fair shot—the vegetables deserve better, and so do I.
To get myself out of this funk, I decided to try something wildly different from my usual fare. I wanted a salad that would make a filling and well-rounded meal, with plenty of flavor and nutritional balance. I settled on Turmeric Grilled Shrimp with Rice Noodle, Nuac Cham, and Greens. I love turmeric, and the photo looked delicious—what’s not to love?
(Though I confess I did skip the cilantro. Sadly, I’m not a fan.)
I marinated the shrimp overnight in the fridge, though the recipe says you can get away with as little as 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry. I appreciated Amy’s warning to be careful when handling the marinade—there’s a ton of turmeric in here (two tablespoons!) and that stuff really does stain like crazy.
The nuac cham vinaigrette was also super easy to get together. And my hands smelled like limes for the rest of the day, which was a nice perk.
Once the noodles were cooked, it was just a matter of frying up the shrimp and assembling the salad. I loved the deep-red color the turmeric turned as it cooked.
VERDICT: This was seriously delicious, and everyone went back for seconds. The lime, mint, and turmeric were a killer flavor combination and one I never would have thought of without this recipe. This recipe is versatile, flavorful, filling, and no more difficult to prepare than your average main course.
This experiment convinced me that there are a lot of ways for salad to become a great main course. Even better, a quick glance through the rest of the book offered some great ideas for turning my quick weeknight salads into something special. I have a newfound respect for salads—and I have no excuse to settle for a boring salad again.