SALADS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD


The simple pleasure in putting together a healthy bowl of salad made with fresh juicy greens and fruits, makes even the laziest of us want to experiment and eat healthy.

Salads have been the go-to food for dieters but they are slowly being incorporated in our meals as daily staples. With a number of different dressings, vegetables, meats and seafood combinations, the definition of salads has grown beyond health food to form a new class of food offering.

As people demand healthier food which is also fancyand creative, restaurants all over the world are reorienting their menus to include a wide variety of high fibre and low calorie foods that cater to the nutrient requirements of health conscious diners.

Salads can be eaten as an appetizer (to get the palate juices ready for main course), as a side dish accompanying a meal, as main course (consisting of meat) or even as dessert (fruit bowls).

You can use not onlyfresh ingredients but also utilise veggies left over from other meals to whip up a nice, cool and crunchy summer salad in no time! I am going to help you kick start your salad regimen by providing some easy recipes. But before I do that, here are some essential tips to keep in mind before putting together a salad:

  1. Place all the greens in ice water (to maintain the crunch and colour)
  2. Do not use too much dressing as it makes the salad soggy and tasteless
  3. Serve on a cold plate/bowl to maintain the freshness

CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD:

www.cooking.nytimes.com
www.cooking.nytimes.com

You need:

  • 6-7 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 day old bread (preferable baguette, cut into cubes)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, roughly torn

Method:

Use half of the minced garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a non-stick pan and add the remaining garlic to it, cook and stir until brown, and then remove from the heat. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.

Tip: Add sliced grilled/smoked chicken to make the non-vegetarian version of this salad.

FATTOUSH SALAD:

fattoushjpg
                                                                  www.mynewroots.org

You need:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 rounds of pita bread broken into pieces
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup tomato, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for dressing
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sumac powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of crumbled feta cheese

Method:

Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place pita pieces into the skillet carefully. Fry in batches until golden brown and place on a tissue to drain excess oil.

Combine cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, and sumac in a bowl. Gently toss salad with fried pita pieces. Adjust seasonings according to taste.

Tip: Add grilled/smoked chicken to make the non-vegetarian version of this salad.

WALDORF SALAD:

waldorf-salad
                                                                    www.epicurious.com

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 apples, chopped and de-seeded
  • 3-4 tbsp halved black grapes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Stir in the apples, celery, grapes and walnuts. Chill until ready to serve.

Akriti Jain
Dig in!