Add panache to a salad by including a
crouton spread with seasoned fresh cheese
or Greek yogurt. Photo courtesy Le Marais
Bakery | San Francisco.
During the produce-challenged winter months, there’s no better way to dress up a salad than with a crouton and fresh herbs. In fact, it works even at the height of summer!
The typical green salad in the photo—lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and kalamata olives plus vinaigrette, topped with watercress*—works during any season of the year. The only difference is that in the summer, the tomatoes will taste better (cherry tomatoes are a better choice in the off season) and you may have more selection of unusual lettuces.
A crouton, in French, is a piece of toasted bread, similar to the Italian crostini. You can spread it with a fresh cheese—chèvre, feta (mashed into a spread, with a bit of cream or olive oil as needed), fromage blanc, pimento cheese, ricotta or with flavored butter (we love truffle butter). A slice of garlic bread also counts.
If the cheese is plain, you can simply add bits of snipped herbs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
*For an alternative spicy/peppery salad vegetable, use arugula, mizuna, mustard greens or radishes, each with peppery, tangy, zesty, piquant flavor.