Eating raw foods such as fruits and vegetables can be a great source of nutrients and vitamins for your body. Salads can be served cold or warm as an appetizer, main course or accompaniment to the main course. They are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed at lunch, dinner or as a snack in between meals.
Salads should be eaten as soon as they are prepared as they can be stored for only a short time. If you would like to eat them at a later time, wrap the bowl with cling film and store in the refrigerator.
A typical salad has the following structure;
Base – This is the foundation of the salad. It is usually the leafy green vegetables such as lettuce (Romaine, Iceberg), spinach, Arugula, cabbage etc.
Body – The most important part of the salad and serves as the main ingredient. It may include vegetables, fruits, meats, beans, eggs, pasta, or cheeses. Most salads get their name from the ingredients that are used for the body.
Garnish – Adds color and appeal, and sometimes flavor to the salad. It must be edible, and may be as simple as a sprinkling of cheese crumbs, seeds, nuts or spice.
Dressing – This is a liquid or semi-liquid used to flavour, moisten, or enrich the salad. Other benefits include helping in digestion and improving the appearance of the salad
Homemade dressings are easy to whip up and can last for a couple of weeks.
My favourite type of dressings include;
Vinaigrette, usually mixture of salad oil and vinegar, often flavored with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients
Creamy dressings, usually mayonnaise-based, which may also contain yogurt or sour cream
Salad dressing tips:
If using oil, use extra virgin olive oil
Use the best vinegar you can afford i.e. white wine, red wine or cider vinegar.
If using mustard, go for prepared Dijon
Use plain Greek yoghurt for your creamy dressings
If you prepare any creamy dressings always remember to refrigerate
Use empty glass bottles to mix thoroughly salad ingredients
Research and experiment on what dressing you like and create one with little effort! While at it, you can also read about the must have spices in your pantry.