I'll do anything to achieve stature when cooking. You see, I'm only 5' and creating tall foods is right up there with making the perfect crescent roll one day.
My sweet, engineer minded hubby had taken a length of PVC pipe years before and cut it into 3.5" lengths for me. The man knows my passions. He's also a super smartee pants and knew these would be ultra safe and sterilizable in the dishwasher - plus, they fit so nicely on the glass racks.
I make all kinds of towering concoctions in these - the PVC pipe can be put into the freezer to make stacked ice cream desserts; spaghetti noodles on the bottom then some meatballs or meat of your choice and sauce. Adults and kids love to eat these edible towers. It's like MasterCard - the possibilities are endless.
A few years ago we had some friends come to stay with us for a few weeks while he got his spine rebuilt - yes, I really said that. Howie got his spine rebuilt with titanium rods and the man who walked through my front door was transformed into this guy who was "Walking Tall". His wife Kimberley and I decided to cook a special dinner one evening during his recuperation. Honestly, I forget what else we cooked but do remember that I wanted to do a special salad in his honor.
So, this salad has always held a special memory for me and I still make it to absolute rave reviews. I'd have to say it's become a signature dish of mine. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it sometime. You won't be disappointed and your guests or family will be appropriately impressed.
PVC Pipe Salad
2 whole Beets - Goldens Are Nice
2 whole Cucumbers
2 whole Tomatoes - Any Garden Variety Works
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Spinach Or Any Leafy Green You Have
2 Tablespoons Good Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Good Red Wine Vinegar
1 carton Plain Yogurt
16 drops Raspberry Jam, Fancy Raspberry Chipolte Sauce
1 whole Toothpick - Ha!
Cook your beets til tender. You can roast your fresh ones or if you just have canned, they’ll do. Chop into 1/4″ dice.
Peel and seed cucumber- slice and chop into 1/4″ dice.
Cut and seed your tomatoes and chop into 1/4″ dice.
Julienne slice the basil and spinach/greens.
Keep everything in separate small bowls.
Mix your vinegar and red wine vinegar in something that’s pourable – I use an old catstup squirt bottle – shake it up.
Into each bowl pour/squirt in the olive oil and vinegar. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Now for the PVC pipe. Take 4 of them – they should be about 3″ long and 1.75″ in diameter – I can’t believe we’re talking PVC pipe here… Stack them upright on refrigeratable tray. Fill each one with a bit of the julienned spinach, then some cucumber, then some beets, then some basil, then tomatoes – whatever looks good or you remember to do. Yes, some of the marinade will be leaking out. Finish the top of each pipe piece with some basil.Put this in the frig for at least 1 hour to chill.
Right before you serve, take 4 plates and smear them with the yogurt. Take your frigidated pipes out and press downward onto the plates – it will slip right out into a tower!
Take your raspberry whatever and put drops around the tower. Use your toothpick and just draw down on the red til you see the heart !