Spicing Up the Salad Line: How to Get Creative at Val
Issue   |   Tue, 09/23/2014 - 23:01
Olivia Tarantino '15
“Thai Peanut Sauce” dresses up lettuce and assorted vegetables.

Mohamed Ramy ’18 confirmed in the September 10 issue of The Student that Val has made significant improvements over the past few years, impressing the incoming freshman class. There are still going to be those meals that we all collectively groan at, though (Yankee Pot Roast, I’m looking at you). I’m here to help you on those days.
Missing your favorite pasta dish that your mom cooks? I’ll find a way to make it work. In a rush to get to class? Here’s something that you can make to eat on the run. It’s not that Val is bad, we’re all just missing the extra homemade touch and personal effort that making food for 2,000 students lacks.

This week, I have a couple ideas for ways you can spruce up your salad. All of us know what to do when the “traditional” food station isn’t offering what we’re in the mood for: get in the salad line. I’ll show you how to make your wait in that line worth your while and ways to create an extra yummy salad.

Thai Peanut Sauce
1 packet of peanut butter (make sure to knead well and add at your table)
¼ inch high of a Val cup of soy sauce (found by the ketchup or stir-fry)
A healthy squirt of Sriracha (or more depending on how spicy you like it)
2 shakes of ground ginger (found at the stir-fry station)
1 shake of garlic powder (found at the seasoning bar or stir-fry)
3-4 shakes of Thai Spice Rub (seasoning found by the ketchup)
½ spoonful of brown sugar (located at the end of the salad bar)
juice from 1 lemon (found by the teas)
2 shakes of salt
Enough water to thin out to dressing consistency
Sesame seeds to garnish (stir-fry station)

Instructions: Mix all ingredients above by whisking with a fork in a yellow-rimmed bowl. Keep adding water to thin the sauce out until it has a dressing-like consistency and is no longer dry.

Tastes great on: romaine lettuce with green peppers, carrots, cucumber, and chicken, or tossed on noodles to make cold sesame noodles — garnish with sliced cucumbers and sesame seeds.

Blue Cheese Dressing
2/3 parts mayonnaise (sandwich bar condiments)
2 parts sour cream (pre-salad bar condiments)
1 part milk
1 part yogurt (greek or regular, found at the end of the salad bar)
a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce (seasoning/ketchup table)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season (pepper grinders are on top of salad bar)
Lemon juice (1-2 wedges) (tea station)
Lots of blue cheese crumble (end of salad bar with cheeses)
Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions: Whisk the liquid ingredients together with a fork, and then fold in the blue cheese once creamy.

Tastes great on: iceberg lettuce, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber salad, or as a side with grilled chicken tossed with Frank’s Red Hot.

Honey Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 part balsamic vinegar
2 parts olive oil
1 spoonful of Dijon mustard (sandwich bar condiments — the lightest yellow one)
1 spoonful honey (found by the tea section)
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
Salt and a little extra freshly ground black pepper
Dash of garlic powder (seasoning table)

Instructions: Add Dijon mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and freshly ground pepper to a bowl and stir together with a fork. While whisking, pour the olive oil into the bowl slowly and continue to stir until the oil mixes completely into the dressing. The dressing will gradually thicken as you incorporate the oil.

Tastes great on: mesclun greens and spinach mix, dried cranberries, granny smith apples, sunflower seeds, cucumbers, or a Cobb salad with romaine, tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken and crumbled blue cheese.

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