Salads could range from a simple fresh green salad tossed in a vinegrette or it could be a hearty bowl of couscous with grilled shrimp or chicken on top.
There are three basic steps to salad making – choosing your ingredients and prepping them, making the dressing and finally tossing it all together. There should be an equal amount of each ingredient and the dressing should be salty, tangy, acidic and sweet, basically there should be a balance in flavours. A little bit of crunch like pine nuts, peanuts, bread croutons could be added for a different texture and to bulk up a salad you could add quinoa or even couscous.
A combination of ingredients that tastes together should be brought together in a salad, furthermore fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and easily available should make up a salad. Every time you make a salad you should get creative -pack in more flavour to the dressing and texture to the salad.
Chopped salads are popular and still around because they taste good and home dressing definitely scores over the different bottled dressings available in the market today.
All of us love salads and when planning a dinner, it’s the salad that I pay a lot of attention to -from the ingredients to the dressing to the bowl it’s going to be served in. I love playing with colours and if I have to substitute a vegetable for a similar one in texture like crunch, spice, tangy etc I do so, and believe me it still tastes delicious and no one will ever know except you!
Sharing with you a colourful, simple, no- fuss, easily available vegetables and fruit salad coupled with pasta:
- Boiled sweet corn -1 cup
- Any Pasta boiled -1 cup
- Green, yellow, red capsicum -1/2 each cubed
- Cucumber- 1 small cubed
- Melon -1/2 cubed
For the dressing:
In a bottle take:
- Olive oil-1/3 cup
- Rice vinegar-2 tbsp
- Mustard powder -1/2 tsp
- Salt-1/2 tsp
- Sugar-1/2 tsp
- Kashmiri chilli powder / paprika -1/2 tsp
- Garlic -3 cloves minced
- Onion – 2 tbsp minced
- Lime juice -1/2 a lime
- Oregano-1/2 tsp
- Basil leaves fresh – 4-5
For the dressing:
- Measure out all the ingredients in a clean bottle. Close with a tight fitting lid and shake for a minute or so till you get a nice emulsion. Check for a balance in flavor- should be salty, acidic, sweet and tangy. Keep aside.
- Into a salad bowl mix all the chopped and cubed vegetables and fruits along with the pasta.
- Just before serving, add the dressing and toss well. Too little or too much of dressing to the salad could ruin a salad.
- You could sprinkle some roasted nuts and serve chilled.
- For vegetables you could use boiled potatoes, cubed carrots, broccoli, tofu.
- In the place of melon, you could use any citrus fruit, grapes, apples or even pineapple. Fruits should be ripe but firm to handle.
- You could substitute salad oil for olive oil.
- This Salad dressing can be used for all Meats and Sea Food.
Till my next post