With the arrival of the Spring sunshine, I always start to crave salads. The word ‘salad’, for many people, brings to mind a bit of soggy lettuce and some slices of cucumber and tomato. That is not what I mean by salad!
Wikipedia defines salad as “a dish consisting of a mixture of small pieces of food, usually vegetables.” and the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.”
When people make the claim “I don’t like salad, it’s boring”, what do they mean? Do they mean they don’t like vegetables? Do they mean they don’t like a mixture of food together? Do they mean they don’t like small pieces of food? I suspect that what they really mean is they don’t like soggy lettuce and some slices of cucumber and tomato, which is fair enough, that is pretty boring.
There is so much variety of excellent, fresh produce around that the possibilities for conjuring up a delicious salad are endless. It could be a green (or garden) salad, consisting mainly of leafy green vegetables and often used as a side with a main meal. Or a dinner salad, which also includes a significant protein source and is a meal in itself, such as Caesar Salad which contains egg.
A bound salad means one which holds its shape when put on a plate and is usually assembled with a thick dressing like mayonnaise, Potato salad is the best-known example. Any type of salad could be tossed, meaning mixed up, or composed, meaning arranged.
Experiment, try things out… choose fresh ingredients that you like, put them together and see if it results in a delicious dish, if not then just have another go, changing the combinations until you have developed a perfect recipe.
For Discreet & Delicious Performance Chefs, a side salad is an excellent way of including in the meal any nutrients or vitamins which might be missing from the main dish.