Tips on how to make your salads more interesting
Salads have come a long way from a few slices of tomato and cucumber carefully placed on a bed of lettuce. These days, a bowl of salad can be a meal in itself, and there are a number of ways to mix and match ingredients that will provide you and your guests with a show-stopping dish.
Start getting a little fruity in the kitchen
Don’t just restrict yourself to salad vegetables or consider fruit salads only as part of your dessert offerings. Thinly sliced circles of blood oranges or overlapping grapefruit pieces sprinkled with pink peppercorns are a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Top this off with a lemon myrtle salad dressing, and you have a delicious and tangy side dish.
Try adding grilled strawberries tossed in balsamic vinegar and placed on a dish of radicchio leaves for an unusual hot salad offering. With a pot of raspberry dipping sauce, this is a fruity choice that everyone will enjoy. Also, consider grating the white flesh of a coconut and chopping and peeling a mango, then tossing this with a mixture of chopped red peppers and cress leaves. Finally, grate peeled ginger, add a squeeze of fresh lime and a tablespoon of olive oil, and mix well, coating all the ingredients.
Flowers should not only be used to decorate the dining room table; there are a number of varieties that can be added to a salad as well. (It is important before rushing out to pick a large bouquet from the garden and using this as a basis for a meal that you check whether the plant is edible, as some, such as the foxglove, are poisonous.)
For a very pretty and colourful dish, start with the basics of arugula or salad rocket, add thin slices of cucumber, and coat with a tangy traditional salad dressing to complement the peppery taste of the rocket. Next, take the petals of the common garden marigold, making sure they have been washed and are free of garden pesticides (and garden pests!), along with the blue flowers of the borage. Arrange on top of the salad and serve with a glass of chilled wine.
Super foods or nutrient rich foods containing large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are definitely the flavour of the month. One such superfood is quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah), which is a complete protein suitable for those on a gluten-free diet, while another is kale. Both are excellent ingredients to add to a salad.
With quinoa, simply combine the cooked grains with thinly sliced strips of red peppers, carrot and chopped raw, red cabbage. Then add slices of celery and unsalted cashew nuts, and dress with Red Kellys Sweet Chilli and Lime salad dressing for a power packed and filling salad meal.
For a raw superfood salad that is colourful and healthy, combine kale, thin strips of beetroot, carrot, chopped broccoli and courgette, either grated or roughly chopped, and toss in a dressing of Red Kellys Smooth Basil and Garlic.
Lastly, a personal favourite has to be the recipe that marries fresh figs, mixed crisp salad leaves, the jewelled pips of the pomegranate and a grating of organic dark chocolate. Use Red Kellys Fruity Raspberry sauce to add a decorative touch by drizzling it on one side of the serving plates, and heap the salad ingredients on the other.
Salads don’t have to be boring. These are just a few ways to make your salads more interesting, so why not mix up your salad ingredients and try a few new recipes today?
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