How To Make The Perfect ‘Salad Freak’ Salad Itself | Architectural Summary


Like architecture and design, making the perfect salad is an art form that requires skill. What looks like an ordinary bowl of leafy greens can be a creative vehicle if you lean into it. (Think of an empty bowl as a blank canvas.) It takes a certain person to have a vision for these edible arrangements, and Jess Damuck is definitely one of them after many years of busting his chops as a as food and accessory stylist, food editor. , and recipe developer. In the introduction to her new cookbook, Salad Monstershe writes “The title ‘Salad Freak’ started out as a joke as I struggled to imagine the book on my shelf and couldn’t, and was losing sleep over whether I was ready to become ‘the freak’ salad,” it became more and more painfully obvious than I already was.

Jess works hard in the kitchen.

Linda Pugliese

Salad Monster, which came out this spring, will make you one too; Jess’ energy is contagious, her dressings are zesty and her salad compositions creative enough to get anyone out of the arugula-parmesan-oil-vinegar rut. With summer in full swing, salad is officially in season as a menu staple. So we chatted in-depth with Jess to learn more about her favorite tools for making the best salads, keeping greens from wilting in the fridge, and dressing them like a pro.

The salad created by Oxo

“I have a few Oxo preservatives in my fridge and I can’t live without them,” Jess tells Clever. “I wash and dry my greens and tender herbs and put them in right away. It keeps everything fresh for over a week and prevents green vegetables from being crushed by other vegetables in the fridge. She also relies on the brand’s famous salad spinner and uses their storage containers in her pantry.

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OXO Good Grips Medium Salad Spinner

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OXO GreenSaver Fruit Saver

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OXO Good Grips POP 10 Piece Food Storage Container Set

Another appetizing Salad Monster creation: Roasted cauliflower, almonds and anchovies.Linda Pugliese

Knives out

“You don’t need an entire knife block to get started in the kitchen,” says Jess. “Especially for the preparation of salads, there are only a few to have on hand.” She recommends a santoku knife — “a German steel one like a Wüsthof stays sharp for a long time and will last forever” — a small paring knife, as well as an offset serrated knife for slicing bread and easily chopping nuts.

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Wusthof Classic 7″ Hollow Edge Santoku

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Victorinox Fibrox 9″ Offset Serrated Knife

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Victorinox Fibrox Pro paring knife, 3.25″

Worthwhile tools

Jess refers to the microplane as her “desert island kitchen tool”. Since she adds citrus zest to almost everything, the tool’s prominent place in her kitchen makes sense. Of all the kitchen gadgets and utensils she’s tried, she also recommends getting a mandolin if you don’t already have one. “Thinly sliced ​​radishes, carrots and other crunchy vegetables add so much texture to the salad when crisped in an ice bath for a few minutes,” she says. “The mandolin can shave vegetables much finer than even someone with the best knife skills.”

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Microplane Classic Zester/Grater

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OXO Good Grips Single Mandoline Slicer

Good Ceramics

“I feel like I have a lot of very shallow bowls or plates,” says Jess. “I like to spread out my salads a little more than a traditional large salad bowl would allow, but a tray still needs enough ledge so the lettuce leaves don’t get pushed back.” For ceramics, her favorite brand is Brooklyn-based Mondays. “Everything they do is beautiful, a little wonky, but not overly valuable.” Plus, it’s dishwasher safe. She also turns to CB2 for more affordable options and, when she travels, is always on the lookout for great ceramics. She also loves ceramics from Heath Ceramics, Louis Gruber, Coming Soon, the MoMA Design Store, Rikumo and Henry Street Studio.

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Contempri Large Oval Dish White

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Summer on a (very nice) plate, courtesy of Jess.

Linda Pugliese

Jess’s top three tips for better salads

  • Store nuts and seeds in the freezer: “It’s really important, it keeps the nuts fresh for then much longer. Some nuts, especially hazelnuts, go rancid very quickly and can make your whole salad taste bad. Always taste and smell before using!
  • Buy spices in small batches: “I don’t buy spices in bulk and don’t usually keep a huge variety on hand. I like to buy a few really high quality spices from smaller suppliers like Diaspora Co. or Burlap and Barrel, or order from marketplaces like Kaylustians or SOS Chef. Grocery store spices are often more affordable, but who knows how long they’ve been on the shelves! Quality really matters here, and keeping them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place is key.
  • Serve in the right form: “Bowls can work well for anything that’s dressed, not basted, and there aren’t many things that can end up in the bottom of the bowl, like croutons or nuts. A mixed green salad, chopped salad, or very leafy salads can go in a bowl, but otherwise, stick to a shallower shape and have fun with the plating.


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