Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Gemischter Salat

Though a salad of this type may have all the ingredients tossed together, most Swiss restaurants and home cooks prefer to arrange the salad with little bouquets of each vegetable separately.  There’s usually a foundation of leafy green salad in the center with the various other salads surrounding.

First, here’s the recipe for a typical Swiss salad dressing.

Franzosische Salatsauce -  “French” Salad Dressing

Makes about 2 cups dressing

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely grated onion or shallot

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup safflower or other light vegetable oil

1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the salt, pepper, mustard, and grated shallot.  Slowly whisk in each oil, then the mayonnaise.  Store the dressing in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.  Shake up the jar when you want to use some.

Here are some possibilities for building your salad:

  • Sliced small tomatoes:  Stir in a tablespoon for the dressing and a couple of finely shredded leaves of fresh basil or a pinch or two of dried oregano.
  • Sliced cucumbers:  Stir in a tablespoon of dressing, a pinch of sugar, and some finely snipped chives.
  • Cabbage:  Stir in a couple of tablespoons of dressing, a little grated carrot, and a pinch of sugar.
  • Carrots:  Peel and grated; season with the dressing and a bit of chopped parsley.
  • Beets:  Bake, peel and cool.  Cut into matchsticks and season with dressing and a pinch of grated fresh ginger.

To construct your salads, for each guest, use a chilled salad plate.  Toss some washed and dried leaf lettuce with the dressing and mound in the center of each plate.  Surround with a couple of tablespoons of each of the vegetable salads.  Serve immediately.