Too often a salad is treated with great disdain, even by chefs of the highest caliber. Professional cooking requires immense sacrifice and an incredible level of passion from a chef. Every dish is a genuine and heartfelt reflection of the experiences and emotions of a chef. Tossing an overabundant handful of “mixed greens” in a run of the mill vinaigrette, topping the greens with a mediocre crudité and calling it a salad is an utterly shameful and dispassionate display of disrespect by anyone claiming to be a culinary professional. Diners deserve to enjoy the experience of each dish that comprises the sensational journey of a restaurant meal. Offering a salad should never be a throwaway for guests looking for a lighter option.
My philosophy of what a salad should be involves a great deal of texture, flavorful contrast, and the intricate treatment of every component. The greens used- if any are chosen- should be diligently selected to complement or contrast the overall flavor profile of the salad as a whole. The classical saying that, “ the sum of the parts make up the whole,” is a perfect way to look at a proper salad, as every component should serve a distinct purpose in relation to all other ingredients as well as the overall profile of the salad.