18 May 2011

Tossed to order

There is a word in the culinary dictionary that has been given a raw deal for ages. Just the mention of it can be met with sneers or tossed aside as a small plate to open a meal, but not a main course. I am, of course, talking about the word ‘salad.’ Before you die hard carnivores click away, take a quick look at the photograph below.Let me break it down for you. This is the Steakhouse Salad which can be found at the Contempo Cafe, obviously in the Contemporary Resort. The greens, the part of the salad that is most often derided, has plenty to compliment the main component. The other salad staples, shaved onions and tomatoes, are here, as is marinated beef, goat cheese and a mustard dressing.

These aren’t the small bite-sized pieces of beef found in most salads though. These are well-seasoned and hearty hunks of steak that, if you were so inclined, you could cut with fork and a knife. Then again, gnawing on a thick wedge of beef is generally more enjoyable than polite silver usage. The goat cheese is creamy, with an oak flavor that pairs well with the beef, while neither overwhelms the other.

As for the mustard dressing, it is the final kick to this anti-salad. The dressing grabs ahold of your taste buds and jolts them awake, while simultaneously opening up your sinuses. While bursting with tang, the dressing is not overwhelming. However, it is worth remembering that you can always choose to have the dressing on the side and not tossed into the salad, which allows you to add as little or as much as you would prefer.

The misconceptions of what can and does constitute a salad continue, and I have no delusions of grandeur that a single salad can change this type of erroneous thought. However, bite by bite, as we move towards a better tasting and better for us dishes, salads will begin to shine. Contempo Cafe’s Steakhouse Salad is definitely one such salad that can begin to change minds.

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