Are you a salad person? Not everyone is, but in the summer heat, nothing beats a fresh salad. Most salads do not require any cooking, saving you hours sweating it out in the kitchen to prepare your meals. Quick, easy and packed with healthy nutrients.
As if that’s not enough, salads can help you lose weight, as part of a calorie-controlled diet and the water content in fruit and veg helps in keeping you hydrated.
What do you understand by “salad”?
According to the English dictionary, the definition of a salad is: “A cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.”
Whether you are having a side salad with your meat or fish, or you’re having a salad as a main, remember that greens are an essential part of your salad.
Ingredients for a tasty salad
Indeed, greens are an important ingredient when making a salad. However, it is not appetising to be served with a mountain of salad leaves and a small topping of sorts. The ‘perfect’ salad contains a balanced amount of ingredients and their taste and texture compliment one another.
When making your own salad, go for the freshest seasonal produce you can find. Buying seasonal vegetables saves you money and they taste better, too.
Wash your vegetables thoroughly and dry them well (using a salad spinner or a clean tea towel) and cut them into bite-size pieces. Keep it simple; do not throw everything you find in the fridge into your salad. The tastiest of salads are made up with a handful of ingredients. A couple of salads that come to mind are the caprese and the Greek salad.
Variety is the spice of life … be adventurous with your ingredients. Replace your meat or fish with grains or legumes – such as spelt, kamut, lentils, buckwheat, barley or quinoa (a seed not a grain) – to give your salad substance.
Make your salad as colourful as possible by including a variety of leaves and/or vegetables. Add texture to your salad by adding fresh or dried fruit, toasted nuts or seeds, olives and capers.
Making your own dressing
Season your salad and add fresh herbs to enhance the taste. Finally, toss your salad in a delicate dressing of infused olive oil or make your own mixture of olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar (apple cider or balsamic). For extra taste you can add ginger, garlic and whole grain mustard to your oil. Put all the dressing ingredients in a screw top jar and mix well.
Here’s five classical recipes, courtesy of OliveTomato.com, to get you started.
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