Salads: the Creative Meal: Recipe
A basic salad
Salads have come a long way over the past few years. Once upon a time, if you went to a restaurant the salad was served in a tiny bowl or as a simple side dish. The salad often consisted of a few leaves of iceberg lettuce, a bit of shaved carrot and purple cabbage, and was served before your main meat and potatoes meal. Things have changed considerably since then. Today salads have come into their own and many people enjoy them as a meal complete unto themselves.
Historically, the objections to salad may be vestiges from an era when good hygiene was not a common practice and uncooked food, of any type, was considered to be a threat to your health and possibly your life.
Today, our knowledge of hygiene is vastly improved and washing hands before and during meal prep a common practice. It is also wise, even with organic produce, to wash the ingredients before using them.
The discussion of what wine to serve with what salad will be covered in a future hub but it is enough to say for now, that wine and salad are no longer mutually exclusive. The main area for concern in the wine with salad discussion is the salad dressing, in particular how much and what type of vinegar to use. It is generally thought that less may be better than more when it comes to vinegar and that thinking mellow will increase you odds of getting a perfect match.
A salad is generally defined as food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing; usually consisting of or including greens. This definition leaves considerable room for you to let your imagination run free. Making a salad is a truly creative act. Meat, poultry, fruit, seafood, vegetables and mushrooms can all be combined in many, many ways to provide you with a great tasting and healthy meal or side dish whichever your prefer.
Salad dressings vary almost as widely as the ingredients themselves. In store bought dressings, I tend to enjoy balsamic vinaigrette.
My usual salad dressing:
When I make my own it is usually a splash of vinegar and some lemon or lime plus a dash of ground black pepper.
I have a small glass jar that I use to mix salad dressing.
Add the ingredients:, lime, lemon, vonegar and black pepper to the jar, put lid on shake and pour.
The salad in the accompanying picture has raspberries I like to use fruit that is in season, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. I choose the red green lettuce combination just to move away from the completely green backdrop that many salads have.
The salad is one meal were not everything has to be uniformly cut, do not make the pieces too big to put into your mouth but do not worry about precision cutting. It will give the salad a creative look.
I was in a hurry when I made this salad and did not take the time to make a more complex dressing and did not have any bottled dressing in the fridge so I simply squeezed the juice of one lemon into a small glass jar added a teaspoon of vinegar, some ground black pepper, put the lid on shook and poured. You can adjust the ingredients to your taste.
A salad is what you make it and this is especially true if you are the only one eating it. Enjoy and be sure to indulge yourself.
Simple tossed salad:
1/4 cucmber sliced
romaine lettuce, hand shredded
2 medium tomatoes diced
Put all ingredients into salad bowl
pour homemade dressing (as above)
or a dressing of your choice, serve.