07 May2014


Dinners with family and/or friends in the MM home have become increasingly impromptu and extremely casual over the years… a perfect excuse to try out a “salad bar” idea I have had ever since my wooden planks were put into use. The arrival of Gejo’s farm bounty, combined with a weekend and a scuttled plan to have pizza at restaurant that turned out to be closed on Sundays(?!), meant everyone ended up at home for a casual dinner of salad, pasta and pizza.


Onto the middle of our dining table, propped on smaller pieces of sampalok wood, were two of the acacia boards I featured a while back, here. I then arranged an assortment of washed and ready to eat greens and veggies and other nibbles on the board, with the idea that guests would craft their own salads, add micro greens to their pizza(s), sprinkle herbs on their pasta, however they wished and in whatever quantity they desired.


Piles of baby arugula joined fresh sorrel, grilled and peeled red capsicum, avocado, several kinds of tomatoes, sliced oranges, etc.


All kinds of mini and micro-greens and shredded carrots and cucumbers made for an incredibly colorful and vibrant “buffet” that would make someone averse to vegetables have as violent an attack on the senses as a vegetarian would have at a whole hog barbecue.


Wooden tongs, wood spreaders, salad servers and other natural looking serving utensils were added to the planks of wood, mismatched pottery plates and bowls.


At one end of the spread we added a little serving bowl filled with leftover black fish roe (read: cheap caviar) and a platter of home-cured gravlax. Some baguettes from Eric Kayser were served warm or toasted. Salad dressing as well as good oils and vinegars were provided as well. All of the greens were freshly washed and chilled until 10 minutes before guests arrived, to ensure they would remain fresh in our blistering heat wave of the moment. It helped that all air conditioners were on full blast! I thought the buffet worked rather nicely. It took away the need for a centerpiece or expense on flowers, but it made dinner a very interactive, lively and interesting kind of casual meal.



  1. TeTcha says:

    What a nutritious, beautiful, and colorful spread, you got there, Mr. MM. A real feast to the eyes. Did you put some drops of lemon juice on the avocado slices to retain their color? From experience, avocados oxidize fast. I usually read your blog at lunchtime to whet my appetite. Thanks.

    May 7, 2014 | 12:17 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    TeTcha, yes, a bit of lemon juice to prevent the fruit from oxidizing(?)…

    May 7, 2014 | 1:19 pm

  4. Susan says:

    I love the contrast between the the white setting which makes things look formal to the casual and natural food set up. So chic!

    May 7, 2014 | 1:52 pm

  5. Nadia says:

    Were those grape tomatoes in your salad bar MM? I have a quick question about them…I have a lot of grape tomato plants growing in my backyard (a friend gave me a handful of fruits last year and they now grow like wildfire!!!) and we have been harvesting so many fruits these days. I find their flavor however more sour rather than sweet compared to the larger cherry or local varieties. Some even border on a sour/bitter taste. Were yours the same? Does it have anything to do with the amount of sun? or type of soil?

    May 7, 2014 | 4:07 pm

  6. Tess G :) says:

    a feast for the eyes.. love the table setting & the hodgepodge of pottery plates & bowls :)

    May 7, 2014 | 5:28 pm

  7. Nikita says:

    what a gorgeous spread!

    May 7, 2014 | 7:17 pm

  8. ginabeans says:

    lovely. as usual. :)

    May 8, 2014 | 11:16 am

  9. Kasseopeia says:

    This is beautiful and appetizing. I am a produce monster and if such a spread was in front of me, let’s just say attack mode will be activated!

    May 8, 2014 | 12:46 pm

  10. corrine says:

    What a nice spread. The oranges slices are just so refreshing especially with the intense summer heat. I’m curious if your guests didn’t find it difficulty to get the ingredients given that everybody is seated around the spread. :)

    May 8, 2014 | 5:22 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    corrine, there was a whole lot of “reaching” going on. But when asking others to pile some stuff on one’s salad plate, it also becomes really interactive. :)

    May 8, 2014 | 6:48 pm

  12. ichabod1973 says:

    I haven’t commented in years….. BUT this salad spread is just too beautiful!

    May 9, 2014 | 11:01 am

  13. Monique says:

    This is just lovely!

    May 9, 2014 | 7:00 pm

  14. Lissa says:


    May 10, 2014 | 2:49 pm

  15. shiko-chan says:

    Really gorgeous (and mouth-watering) MM! Thanks for sharing this idea!

    May 10, 2014 | 7:55 pm


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