We recently attended a wedding and I was entranced by the appetizer. It was an upright mesclun salad wrapped in a long slice of cucumber. The dressing was poured into the tightly packed upright salad and the appetizer bowl where the salad was placed was garnished with gorgeous fruit.
When the cucumber peel was uncurled, the salad opened up and it was coated with the dressing and was garnished by the fruit.
I loved the presentation, the flavors of the salad and the whole idea of serving a salad wrapped and upright.
Of course, I was determined to create my own version of this type of salad. I decided to try it first with arugula, one of my favorites. It was not even much of a challenge. I nailed it on the first try.
Here it is:
Arugula, soaked and rinsed (see kosher notes)
Long Seedless cucumbers
fruit or tomato garnish
Carefully peel long slices of seedless cucumber with a peeler or mandolin.
Soak and rinse arugula, shaking out all excess moisture and/or wrapping in paper towels to dry. Wrap cucumber slice around bundle of arugula, securing with a toothpick or small skewer, if necessary.
Stand bundle of arugula up on appetizer plate or shallow bowl so that arugula leaves are standing up. Squirt dressing into center of arugula bundle, directing the tip of the squirt bottle into the arugula bundle so that dressing is contained within bundle and does not disperse or color the arugula. Garnish with slices or fruit or vegetables.
Substitute arugula with other greens like mesclun, kale, romaine lettuce or shredded cabbage.
Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore most greens require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of leafy vegetables. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using greens such as arugula.