I think salads are absolutely beautiful. They are often full of a mix of vibrant colors, incorporating colors like pops of fuschia on a rich green background. They are the food-lover’s version of a fresh bouquet of flowers. Because I find them so beautiful, salads are one of my favorite parts of the meal to plate. A good presentation can really help make other less leaf-loving people excited to try a salad out.
I bookmarked this salad recipe simply because of the presentation. The salad itself looked like nothing special but I sure wanted to try the crispy parmesan baskets out. And I was not disappointed. The baskets were easy to put together, fun to play with and made for a unique looking plate. The parmesan was perfectly toasted crunchy, making it full of flavor. But as suspected the salad itself was just average. I’ll keep making these baskets and filling them full of whatever beautiful fruits and vegetables I have on hand.
Parmesan, Walnut and Arugula Baskets
Originally from Taste of Home magazine, April/May 2009
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
4 cups fresh arugula or spring mix salad greens
1/2 cup green grapes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts over the bottom of the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 seconds.
Using a spatula, carefully remove cheese mixture and immediately drape over an inverted glass with a 2-in.-diameter bottom; cool completely. Repeat with remaining cheese and walnuts, forming five more baskets.
For salad, in a large bowl, combine the arugula, grapes and walnuts. Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over arugula mixture; toss to coat. Place 1/2 cup salad in each basket.