Beyond the Greens ✳ Potato, Beet, Green Bean & Tomato Composed Salad

Composed Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette │ © Life Through the Kitchen Window

In a recent post, I talked about making a classic vinaigrette from scratch. I could have used it on a green salad, but that just seemed too obvious. Besides, I rarely make green salads at home. Much as I like to eat them, I find them too fussy to make often for myself.

Instead, I used my red wine vinaigrette to dress a composed salad featuring summer bounty: new red potatoes, baby beets, green beans and tomatoes. I suppose I could turn this into a recipe. but really all I did was scrub and wrap the potatoes and beets in foil (a pouch for each) and bake them at 350ºF for about an hour, or until they were fork tender. Then I peeled and cut the beets into wedges and cut the potatoes in half with the skins on. As for the green beans, I blanched those in salted boiling water for about five minutes (so they were tender crisp). And the tomatoes? Well, you need only look at the photos to see what I did with those.

I did all this several hours before dinner, so I put each of the prepared vegetables into a separate container, added a bit (less than a tablespoon) of vinaigrette to each and gave them a gentle toss before covering and placing in the refrigerator.

At dinner time all I had to do was exercise my vast creative energy by arranging the vegetables on a plate in a pleasing pattern (I prefer to keep them in separate sections) and then top with a final drizzle of the vinaigrette. If I may, could I draw your eye to how attractive the whole mustard grains are in the vinaigrette? I think they add pleasing texture and contrast, which is really shown to advantage in a composed salad like this.

So, the next time you’re thinking of making a salad, think beyond the greens and play around with some of the produce that’s in abundance this time of year. You’ll enjoy a hearty and flavourful salad, one that could serve as a first course or the star of the meal. For us it had the added benefit of stretching to two meals, thus saving me effort on the following day. After all, isn’t life supposed to be easy in the summertime?

Composed Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette │ © Life Through the Kitchen Window


    • I don’t even have Dijon mustard in the house anymore, I’m such a fan of the whole grain mustard, and yes, it’s l’Ancienne. It’s such a versatile ingredient – makes a great topping for roast pork, for instance. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  1. This does look good, Mar. I’ve been making a variety of salads, too, this season. At one point or another, each of your ingredients played a role in them, as did roasted cauliflower and broccoli. Mine, however, were never plated so beautifully. (I need to work on that!) I must say, though, that your tomato is the star of that platter, in my opinion. Nothing like a ripe tomato in Summer. It’s the best!

    • Roasted cauliflower in a composed salad with some vinaigrette drizzled over top sounds wonderful (broccoli doesn’t speak to me so much). As for the plating, all I did was set the different veggies in a row on a plate – nothing complicated about the presentation! I agree with you about the tomato – a fresh summer tomato just brings a plate of pretty much anything to life!

  2. I love composed salads like this. I think it’s because I tend to attack my meals in sections, one side dish/element at a time (I know… weird! I try not to do this too much in public when I’m out, lol!) Great tip to coat the veggies with just a bit of vinaigrette in the fridge. I feel like this will lightly marinate the veggies and up the flavor factor 🙂

    • Janice, you’ve explained exactly my rationale for putting some vinaigrette on the veggies when I put them in the fridge to await dinner time! We all have our quirky eating habits, don’t you think? Your comment reminded me of how my Dad used to work his way around the plate, a bite of this, then that, then the next thing and back to the start. Thanks for the memory jog!

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