No, a salad is not just a light and frugal dish. If you know the best ways to dress it can become a complete, nourishing and really tasty meal that is not just a last resort if the fridge is empty or something for people on a low-calorie slimming diet.
Here are some tricks of the trade for seasoning vegetables and bringing out their flavours, from preparing the salad to mixing and matching the herbs and spices. Here are just a few.
Preparing the salad
- Wash the salad under running water to eliminate residual soil and leave it to soak in a bowl. Then rinse again.
- Dry the salad leaves with a clean cloth and place them in a bowl with a high edge to make them easier to dress. You can also use a manual or electric salad spinner.
Dressing the salad:
- Never pour the ingredients directly onto the plate: mixing the ingredients separately will give a dense emulsion that will not slide off the leaves but stick to them. That way, all the salad will be evenly dressed.
- Striking the right balance between ingredients is part of a delicious dressing.As a rule of thumb, calculate 1 spoon of oil, a pinch of salt and half a spoon of vinegar per person.
- The combination of salad and ingredients is not just a matter of taste. For an excellent final result, combine foods thathave a similar consistency or weight,and make sure that everything is balanced and cut to the right size. Larger and harder leaves can be combined with thicker and heavier ingredients.More delicate and thinner leaves can be combined with seeds, grains or smaller and lighter items.
Ideas for succulent seasonings
- For more traditional palates:a vinaigrette with extravirgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, or a citronette withoil, lemon, salt and pepper to be beaten with a whisk or a fork.
- For more decisive palates: chilli-flavoured oil for salad using coloured pasta or shallot-flavoured oil with a Mediterranean flavour to give croutons that something extra.
- For cosmopolitan palates:one idea for dressing the salad could be a pinch ofturmeric and ginger grated into the extravirgin olive oil to give the salad anoriental touch.
- For more innovative palates: a dressing of olive oil,lemon, honey, salt and pepperto be combined with radish, rocket andradishes.
- For Mediterranean palates:a yogurt-based sauce withoil, pepper, salt, lemon peel and basil to be combined with salads of grilled chicken and cucumber or dishes with a drier taste.