Toss it, dress it, season it, eat it. Things can’t get simpler than this. Salads are one of kitchen’s little miracles that pack taste and health in them in equal measures. And all it takes is a little imagination to make this dish a lust-have.
Let us refresh our science basics. Fiber is great for smooth bowel movements, fruits and vegetables are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, animal products are rich in proteins and fats which give energy. So where do we go to find all these nutrients under one roof? Into the world of salads, of course! It is hard to find a more balanced and wholesome meal choice than a salad.
A salad made mainly of shredded raw cabbage, it may also include shredded carrots, apples, green onions, peppers and spices.
4 cups shredded cabbage 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
3 carrots, coarsely shredded
2 tbsp grated sweet onion
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Mayonnaise, if desired
In a large bowl, toss cabbage, green pepper, carrots, and onion. Cover and chill thoroughly. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil. Pour over vegetables and toss before serving. If creamier coleslaw is desired, stir in some mayonnaise, a little at a time, until creamy. Enjoy with hot dogs or sausages.
SOM TAM SALAD
A spicy Thai salad, the standard form of which is made from shredded unripe papaya. The Thais prefer the non vegetarian variety.
1 unripe papaya, grated
1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
3 green onions, julienned
½ cup fresh coriander leaves, torn into small pieces
A few sprigs of mint leaves, torn into small pieces
½ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup roasted peanuts
¼ bowl cooked shrimps
For the Spice Paste (to be ground into coarse paste in the mixer)
3 gloves garlic
2 Thai red chillies (alternately, 2 tsp crushed dried red chilli flakes)
For the dressing (mix together in a small bowl)
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 – 2 tbsp. liquid honey
1 tsp. shrimp paste
In a large salad bowl, mix the vegetables and the spice paste. Pour the salad dressing and toss well. Adjust dressing as per preferred taste. Normally, Som Tam is a mix of sweet, sour and spicy, so you may have to drizzle more fish sauce or honey till you get the sharp, tangy flavor. Garnish with roasted peanuts. Serve with some sticky rice a la the Siamese.
An American salad usually made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce.
1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or 1/4 cup of raisins)
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice. Add salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.
CRAB LOUIE SALAD
Known as the King of Salads, this American salad features crab meat, hard boiled eggs and tomatoes served on a bed of lettuce leaves.
½ bowl cooked crab meat
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
1 big onion, chopped
For the dressing
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp. chilli sauce
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ cup black olives, chopped
Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Then add the dressing and toss well.
1 large broccoli
2 bell peppers (capsicum) – 1 red and 1 yellow
1 – Iceberg lettuce
For the dressing
2 tsp lime juice
3 tsp olive oil
2 garlic pods
Salt and white pepper to taste
Parboil the broccoli and slightly steam the carrots and capsicum to remove the rawness. Cut in small bits. Tear the lettuce leaves into medium size pieces and mix all the vegetables in a large salad bowl.
Finely chop the garlic pods and mix all the ingredients for dressing together. Beat well. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss well.
Your bowl of good health is ready to savor!