Toss it, dress it, season it, eat it. Things can’t get simpler than this. Salads are one of the 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 must-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.